Tuesday 9/22/20

Asylum seekers’ money transferred from Moni cards to PFS cards

Customers who had asked their funds to be transferred had altogether around 200,000 euros. Withholding such funds for months forced some asylum seekers to ask for loans from friends or relatives in order to pay their living expenses.
Asylum seekers’ money transferred from Moni cards to PFS cards

The Finnish Immigration Service (Migri) informed that asylum seekers who had applied for a PFS card by 7 July 2019 have now received the money from their previous Moni account transferred to their PFS card. This relates to the "problems" admitted by Migri by the end of May to transfer those funds. After the transfer, the Moni cards were closed and cannot be used anymore, informed Migri it is latest customer bulletin.

Moni prepaid cards used for the payment of reception allowances and wages to the asylum seekers stopped working on 30 April. Migri had promised by mid-March that the transfer of the remaining amounts to the new PFS cards would take "at least two weeks" but would be done in May. Finally, it was done in July.

However, Migri is not to blame for the situation. As Foreigner.fi has learned from the Immigration Service sources, to solve this issue has been a very challenging task, since it was the firm Moni Nordic who did not liberate those funds in time.

"The money doesn’t belong to the Finnish Immigration Service and therefore officially the issue is between the asylum seekers and the card supplier". "We understand that this is a very difficult situation for the asylum seekers and that’s why we are doing our best to find solutions for the money to be transferred safely and according to regulations", explained the consulted sources.

200,000 euros withheld

In total, customers who had asked their funds to be transferred from Moni Cards to PFS cards had altogether around 200,000 euros on their Moni accounts. Withholding such funds has placed some asylum seekers in a very complicated situation, without money and with their savings unavailable. Some of them had to ask for loans from friends or relatives in order to pay their living expenses, as Foreigner.fi has learned.

In the meantime, Migri has been working together with the card supplier and with the Financial Supervisory Authority to find a solution "as soon as possible.".

Still, asylum seekers who have not applied for a PFS card will get their money later. If their Moni card still works, they can still access the money and empty the account. More instructions and the date on which the remaining Moni cards will stop working will be announced later, informed Migri in its latest customer bulletin.

Instructions for asylum seekers

To try to solve these problems, Migri has made the following recommendations to asylum seekers:

  • If you applied for a PFS card by 7 July 2019, your money has now been transferred to your PFS card. Your Moni card has been closed.
  • If you want to check the amount of money that was transferred to your card, see the PFS account statement, contact the PFS customer service (tel. 0203 551 99, [email protected]) or ask your reception centre.
  • If there are discrepancies in the amount of money transferred, contact the Moni Nordic customer service ([email protected]). The Finnish Immigration Service and PFS do not reply to inquiries concerning the amount of money transferred.
  • If you are no longer registered as a client at a reception center and the money from your Moni card has been transferred to your PFS card, your PFS card will stop working on 30 august 2019. This means that you must withdraw or spend all the money on your PFS card before this date.
  • If you have not applied for a PFS card, we will instruct you later on how you will be able to access the money that you have in your Moni account. It is no longer possible to apply for a PFS card for the transfer. If your Moni card works, you should spend or withdraw all the money from the account.