Using PCG's Virtual Wallet for Short Breaks can reduce administration costs by 65%

Assist Virtual Wallet logoVirtual Wallet is perfectly suited to the requirements of one-off payments, such as in the administration of Short Breaks for Children and Families. It provides a range of benefits for Local Authorities, including:

  • Reduction in cost and time of resourcing scheme
  • Ensures accountability, evidencing impact and enforcing legitimate spend
  • Raises awareness of activities within the area

And more importantly, it gives families flexibility, choice and control over how they spend their grant



How does it work?

Each family is issued with a username and password and when they log-on they see how much money is available to spend on activities in the eMarketplace.  They browse the site and choose how they would like to spend their grant – activities include: Health & Leisure, Family activities, Holidays & Travel, Eating out, Specialist provision and Group activities

The family selects the activities they would like in the eMarketplace and then ‘buy’ them using the inbuilt eCommerce module.  The big difference is that the cost of the activity is automatically deducted from their grant.  Families cannot spend more than the amount allocated in the grant however, they can contribute their own money if they choose an activity that costs more than they have available to spend.

The feedback from families is overwhelmingly positive: they all like the choice and flexibility that the system provides.  One user commented “If we decide to have a family treat on a weekend, I can use Short Breaks 4 Me to get tickets on a Friday evening and have a day out with my son on Saturday without needing to contact the council – it’s great.”

What's included?

For Short Breaks, a typical Virtual Wallet implementation process would include the following:

  • Content Management System - delivers a website or sub-site, tailored to the desired look and feel. Web pages are used to provide supporting information about Short Breaks for users
  • Online application form - underpinned by a sophisticated forms engine, the application form allows parents or guardians to apply for Short Breaks funding from the Local Authority. Eligibility algorithms can auto-approve ~80% of all applicants, saving time for LA staff
  • Virtual Wallet - once approved, funds will be credited to the Virtual Wallet, which can be spent within the eMarketplace
  • eMarketplace - An Amazon-like online marketplace is provided for users to browse services of interest to them. The Marketplace includes local services as well as national services and vouchers schemes. 


Because we deliver our Short Breaks VW solution via our national, multi-tenanted solution, PCG are able to provide instant access to a range of pre-determined suppliers and voucher schemes.