Payroll Local FAQ
Payroll Local is a new scheme that the Brixton Pound are launching with Lambeth council that will allow council staff the opportunity to take a proportion of their salary in electronic Brixton Pounds (B£e). The scheme is voluntary.
The Brixton Pound is money that sticks to Brixton. It works a bit like a loyalty card for local and independent businesses. You can spend the Brixton Pound in over 250 shops and businesses in Lambeth. The Brixton Pound was launched in 2009. In 2011 an electronic version of the Brixton Pound was launched (B£e).
- To encourage employees to use local and independent businesses and to make it easy and convenient to do so.
- To offer a convenient way to donate to local charities, social enterprises and community groups that may not be reached by corporate payroll giving schemes
- B£e makes it easy to discover new local and independent businesses, as our business directory (which will soon be available as a smartphone application) lists them all and shows you their location and opening hours.
- B£e Payroll Local is a convenient way to give to local charities, who may be excluded from larger corporate payroll giving schemes.
- When you spend or give B£e, you are directly benefiting your local community as Brixton Pounds “stick” to Brixton, and encourage more local trading.
Payroll Local may not work for everyone, and will most likely not be suitable for 100% of your weekly shop or budget. Payroll Local gives you extra spending power, but only if you are comfortable spending B£e at participating businesses. If you are concerned that you might run into financial difficulties before your next salary payment, you should not commit too large a sum to this scheme.
The Brixton Pound CIC does not offer financial advice. If you are in debt or in need of advice we recommend you contact one of the agencies listed on this website: http://www.walcotfoundation.org.uk/adviceondebt.html
The Brixton Pound CIC (Community Interest Company) owns and manages the B£e scheme, and is working in partnership with Lambeth Council to deliver “Payroll Local”.
This project is being developed by the Brixton Pound in partnership with Lambeth Council, with grant funding from NESTA (National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts). For more information see the NESTA website http://www.nesta.org.uk/areas_of_work/public_services_lab/giving/assets/features/payroll_local
The Brixton Pound operates a paper version of the currency, which has been in circulation since September 2009, but Payroll Local works only with electronic Brixton Pounds.
You can either spend it, on a wide range of local goods and services (see below), at around 100 participating businesses, or give to a range of local charities.
Yes, there are many independent cafes, delicatessens and restaurants signed up to the scheme. You’ll find something to cater for every cuisine, dietary need and budget.
With some 100 local businesses signed up, and more joining the scheme every week, there is a huge variety of what you can buy. Greengrocers, market stalls, flowers, clothes, jewellery and vintage shops are all part of the scheme, plus services including web designers, architects and bicycle delivery. You can find the most up to date list here.
No, because the Brixton Pound exists specifically to boost trade with local and independent businesses. Because these businesses are usually owned or managed by people who live locally, they tend to contribute more to Brixton’s local economy and sense of community.
The Brixton Pound is not designed to replace sterling, and you may not be able to do all your shopping using Brixton Pounds. We therefore recommend that you receive no more than 10% of your salary in Brixton Pounds. Please note that you cannot change B£e back into sterling, so you should not opt to receive more B£e than you will spend on a monthly basis.
The Brixton Pound is a scheme that supports and encourages local businesses. Typically, core costs like mortgage payments, gas, electricity, water and insurance are not sourced from Brixton-based providers – you cannot therefore pay for these goods or services using B£e. Please bear this in mind when deciding how much of your salary to receive in B£e.
You can opt to set up a regular donation to a local charity of your choice by logging into your online B£e account. The list of charities accepting B£s can be found here.
That’s also fine. There is no requirement to make charitable donations.
That’s fine. If you see an appeal you want to donate to, make a one off donation to a charity yourself – you can do this directly from your online account, as and when you choose.
If you know of a charity or community group who may be interested in the scheme please let us know.
Using our simple and innovative “pay-by-text” system. You just send a short text message to the special B£ number. Both you and the business will receive a confirmation message a few seconds later, confirming that the transaction has completed successfully.
No, any phone capable of sending and receiving text messages will do.
You will need to log into your account online to set up a password, but once that's all set up, you can manage everything from a mobile phone.
You won’t be able to use “pay-by-text” but you can still make online purchases or give to our local charities by logging into your online B£e account.
You will be charged for sending one standard text message (SMS), unless this is already included in your contract or pay-as-you-go bundle.
Some mobile phone providers incorrectly categorise the Brixton Pound number as an overseas number. If your phone bill shows additional charges when using “pay-by-text”, please contact your mobile phone provider or the B£.
Yes, it has been proven to be more reliable than credit card payments.
Yes, very. The Brixton Pound works with specialised hosting and software providers who have a track record working with financial software. We use investment bank-grade encryption and hardware. So far, the system has been available 100% of the time and there has been no reported fraud.
You should log into your online account as soon as possible, and change the mobile phone number, so that your account cannot be used by anyone else who has your phone. Note that payments can only be made by someone who has your phone. You should also contact the Brixton Pound by emailing [email protected] – we can temporarily deactivate your account if you have concerns about misuse.
Provided that you have informed us promptly about the theft (within 24 hours of your phone being stolen), we will charge back any fraudulent transactions. Note that unlike a credit card, your B£e account can never have a negative balance, so the amount that can be spent is limited to your current balance.
No. Any amounts which you receive in B£e have already been taxed at source (via PAYE).
No, B£e are non-exchangeable but you can spend them in over 250 participating businesses or donate to local charities. You don’t need to live in Brixton and spending or charitable giving can be done online as well as via “pay-by-text”.
All you need to do is email us a few details. The details you will need to provide are:
- Lambeth payroll number
- Amount of B£ you would like to receive
No, you can sign up at any point, and transfers to your B£e account will commence following the 3rd of the month after you signed up.
You can revisit our online sign-up and update your details at any time. If you would like to opt out of the time, simply notify us before the 3rd of the month, and you will no longer receive any of your salary in B£.
You can also notify Lambeth HR. Please note that you must notify us before the 3rd of the month in which you want to opt-out. If you notify us after the 3rd of the month, we may not be able to cancel the deduction from your salary until the following month.
Deductions will be made from your salary on 15th of the month and your B£e will then be released in to your online account on or after 25th of that month (allowing for administration and processing).
We apologise, but all sign-ups must be received from the online form. The process is very quick and secure, and can be completed using your PC at work or from a home computer.
The amount that you have agreed to receive direct to your B£e account will be shown as a deduction on your payslip – similar to deductions for Credit Union, season ticket loans or student loan repayments.
You can top up your B£e account at any point, by doing a bank transfer from your sterling bank account, paying cash over a bank counter or of course you can increase the amount of your salary that is transferred direct to your B£e account each month.
You can either query your account balance direct from your phone, or log into your secure online B£e account, to view all of these details.