All Canadians Must Have Equal Access to Emergency Aid, Writes Jennifer Tramontana

“Since the start of the pandemic, the government of Canada has rushed to disburse financial relief… by leveraging paper cheques and direct deposits. Despite the government’s impressive speed and diligence in establishing an aid program of such size and scale, one hurdle remains: reaching all eligible Canadians with these customary financial tools,” writes Jennifer Tramontana, CPPO executive director, in an op-ed for the Financial Post.

Tramontana explains that, according to ACORN Canada, an estimated three per cent of Canadians are unbanked and around 15 per cent are underbanked. This leaves 6 million of Canada’s most vulnerable segments of society at risk of delay in receiving needed relief funds, difficulty in safely converting a cheque to cash, or being entirely left out of the aid program.

Enter prepaid solutions, which are ideally suited to fill any gaps in the delivery of the emergency relief funds and have been widely adopted in the UK and the US. Canada lags behind global efforts, notes Tramontana, but at a critical time when relief needs to urgently find its way to every single Canadian who needs it, it is imperative now that we ramp up our embrace of prepaid.

Read the full op-ed here.

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