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Ferguslie Park Housing Association first to use new convenient and
cost-effective card-based rent collection scheme

Ferguslie Park Housing Association in Paisley has become the first
organisation to roll out "HousingCard" - Alliance & Leicester Commercial
Bank's new automated card payment scheme.

HousingCard has been designed for smaller housing associations - those that
process less than 50,000 transactions annually or have fewer than 1,000

About half of Ferguslie Park's 800 tenants are being supplied with cards
that enable them to make payments at their local Post Office. (The
remaining 400 are benefit claimants who will continue to have their rents
paid directly by Renfrewshire Council.)

Lilian Peters, Finance Manager at Ferguslie Park Housing Association, said:
"The idea of a card-based scheme was appealing to us because it is easier
for tenants than payment books and reduces our administrative costs.

"We chose HousingCard because it was both less expensive than competitor
products and is supported by the familiar Alliance & Leicester Commercial
Bank name."

Key features of HousingCard include:
* Automated collection service with no set-up costs (card and wallet
supplied free)
* Costs only 75p per payment transaction
* No annual fees or charges
* Replacement cards only 85p plus VAT
* Housing association branding on payment cards
* Convenient for tenants - payments can be made at any of the 17,000-strong
Post Office network

Keith Rennie, Product Manager for Bill Payments at Alliance & Leicester
Commercial Bank, said: "Card-based payment systems are the most efficient
and convenient way to collect customer payments. However, many smaller
housing associations may have looked at this in the past but felt the set-up
costs were too high.

"We have had a lot of interest from other housing associations since
launching HousingCard in the summer and are confident a number of these will
be following the lead of Ferguslie Park in the near future."

Alliance & Leicester Commercial Bank is the market leader in revenue
collection and processing, dealing with 220 million transactions in 2002
alone. It already handles card and internet-based payments for over 800
housing associations.

Formerly known as Girobank, it was renamed 'Alliance & Leicester Commercial
Bank' in July this year.

- ENDS -

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