The £100 spend local online registration portal has opened this morning. Still, applicants are already reporting you have to wait long periods to complete the registration process due to high demand at the Ni Direct website.
People are reporting that after clicking the link, they are presented with a loading screen for several minutes before being asked to enter an email for verification.
Once an email is submitted, another screen appears which reads, ‘You will receive a confirmation email shortly. If you do not, use the Home button to submit your email again’ with many still waiting to receive that email despite multiple submissions from some applicants.
Economy Minister Gordon Lyons said: “This is a big day in the roll-out of the High Street Scheme. I am delighted to announce that the portal for applications for the Spend Local card has now opened.”
The Minister once again reminded applicants that the portal will remain open until 25 October and that there will be enough time for everyone to apply, receive and use their Spend Local card. Applicants can register for their card at http://nidirect.gov.uk/spend-local
He said: “Around 1.4 million people are entitled to apply for their Spend Local card, so we expect the portal to be extremely busy in the first few days. That is why it is important to remember that the portal will be open for four weeks and that everyone will have enough time to apply for their card. So please be patient.”
The Minister reminded applicants to have their key information to hand when they come to apply. For verification purposes, all applicants will be asked to provide their name; address; age; gender; disability status; National Insurance number; email address; and telephone number.
He said: “Please ensure that you have all your required information ready when you apply, including your National Insurance number and driving licence if you have one. There will be enough time for everyone to apply, receive and use their Spend Local card. The applications portal is robust and ready and it will be able to handle over 1.4 million applications over the course of the four-week period. But we expect early demand to be extremely high. Therefore, by being patient and ready with your information, you will be helping yourself and everybody else.”
Minister Lyons also warned people to be wary of scams and emphasised that the Department will never ask anyone for their personal banking details.
He said: “Unfortunately, there are unscrupulous individuals who will look for every opportunity to steal from others. It is important to state that the Department will never ask for anyone’s personal bank details. Anyone who receives any contact which they think may be a scam should contact Action Fraud.”