Telephone service for High Street Scheme applications opens Monday

Date published: 09 October 2021

Economy Minister Gordon Lyons has announced that applications for the Spend Local prepaid card can be made via telephone from 11 October.

Economy Minister announces applications for the Spend Local prepaid card can be made via telephone from 11 October.
Economy Minister announces applications for the Spend Local prepaid card can be made via telephone from 11 October.

Those who do not have access to the internet or who are unable to apply online, can make their application for their card by calling 0800 046 8330. The service will operate from 8.00am – 6.00pm Monday to Friday until 25 October 2021.

The Minister said:

“Demand for the Spend Local prepaid card has been unprecedented with well over 1 million people making their application online. We must not forget, however, that there are people who do not have access to the internet or need assistance with their application. I am pleased, therefore, to announce that applications for those people can now be made using our Telephone Application Service from Monday 11 October.  

“Callers will need to provide the same personal information as those who applied online, except an agent will make the application on their behalf. Once the applicant’s information has been verified, the £100 prepaid card will be posted out.”

The Minister added:

“The High Street Scheme is a key element of my Department's Economic Recovery Action Plan. I would encourage everyone to consider where they spend their card and help to give a boost to those local businesses and communities hit hard by the pandemic and associated restrictions.”

Notes to editors: 

1. An out of hours advisory message covering opening hours and Scheme signposting will be available from Friday 8 October at 6.00pm.

2. In order to verify applications the following personal details are required.

  • National Insurance number
  • name
  • address
  • date of birth
  • sex
  • disability status (specifying if you have a visual impairment)
  • email address (if available)
  • telephone number
  • driving licence number (this is optional but will help speed up the checking process)

3. Key dates for the High Street Scheme include:

  • 4 October - first Spend Local prepaid cards issued
  • 11 October - telephone service opens for applications
  • 25 October - online portal and telephone service for applications closes
  • 25 October - the last qualifying date for those turning 18 to be eligible to apply for a Spend Local card
  • 30 November - High Street Scheme closes and the Spend Local prepaid cards will cease to be valid

4. The Department is required under Section 75 to monitor the implementation of its policies which includes collecting data on age, sex and disability.

5. When an applicant receives their card, they will need to verify the card through a computer-operated phone system or text message and make the first payment using a pin, before they can start to use it for contactless payments.

6. The cards can be used in all participating businesses in Northern Ireland. They cannot be used online or for gambling or some financial and legal services.

7. The High Street Scheme Spend Local pre-paid card will be able to be accepted by shops and businesses which can accept credit and debit cards for payment. It cannot be used to purchase goods or services online.

8. The Department’s Economic Recovery Action Plan is available on the Department's website.

9. Follow us on Twitter @Economy_NI.

10. For media enquiries contact the Department for the Economy Press Office at

11. The Executive Information Service operates an out of hours service for media enquiries only between 1800hrs and 0800hrs Monday to Friday and at weekends and public holidays. The duty press officer can be contacted on 028 9037 8110.

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