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Payment card glitch ties up asylum seekers' benefits

Many asylum seekers' benefits are locked up due to a prepaid card glitch, reports local news conglomerate Lännen Media.

kännykkässä maksukortti
This spring the Finnish Immigration Service (Migri) switched prepaid Moni cards out for PFS e-paymnet cards. Image: Markku Pitkänen / Yle

A payment card switchover by the Finnish Immigration Service (Migri) has prevented as many as 1,500 asylum seekers in Finland from accessing their reception allowance, a form of financial assistance granted by the Finnish state to cover basic needs. Migri uploads the benefit on prepaid cards.

Between April and May the Finnish Immigration Service migrated from Moni prepaid cards to PFS cards. Existing funds did not, however, always transfer over from the old cards to the new ones.

Pekka Nuutinen, who heads the Reception Unit at the Finnish Immigration Service, told Lännen Media payment service providers were working to resolve the issue.

Some individuals' frozen balances totalled thousands of euros, according to Nuutinen.

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