In the UK, there are several debit card solutions specifically designed to support the financial autonomy and safety of the elderly. This article explores the best debit card solutions for the elderly considering factors such as power of attorney, security features, ease of use, carer control, and overall accessibility.

What does the attorney need to consider?

It is particularly difficult for the elderly person, who is the donor, because they may not want to give up control of their finances.  At some stage however you, the attorney, may have to get a Mental Capacity Assessment carried out to establish whether the donor under the Lasting Power of Attorney has lost capacity to manage their finances.  If they have lost capacity, you will need to take over their bank account but, having dementia does not necessarily mean they have lost capacity.

So, in the early stages of dementia, you may want to protect their finances by having a card that is controlled by you but, that the donor can use.  Sometimes, you may need to have a separate card that can also be given to a carer, especially if you do not live near the donor.  It is really important to be able to control the limits on the card and block it remotely and quickly if you think there may have been a fraudulent transaction.  This is a time when the elderly are at their most vulnerable so, they and their finances need to be protected from abuse.

Spending management

Effective daily management of the debit card ensures that the elderly person’s financial needs are met while safeguarding their funds.  This includes looking at, for example, direct debits, budgeting and emergency funds.  You may also need to have a daily/monthly spending allowance for small shops and going out, this is for both the donor and the carer.

Choosing the right debit card

The following are general points to consider:

  1. Does the card come with an App?
  2. Are there real-time notifications?
  3. Is there overdraft protection?
  4. Are there any monthly fees?
  5. Is there Power of Attorney management?
  6. What are the spending limits?
    • cash withdrawal limits
    • online / phone spending
    • high street spending
    • Contactless

Here are some of the best debit card solutions for the elderly available:

  1. Sibstar
  2. Starling Bank
  3. Barclays POA Access
  4. Santander Carers Card Account
  5. TSB Spend & Save Plus Account
  6. Monzo Joint Account
  7. Pockit Prepaid Card

1. Sibstar

The Sibstar Debit card was set up by Jayne Sibley specifically to help elderly people and their attorneys, when both her parents got dementia.  It is the only card specifically for the individual with Lasting Power of Attorney and is one of the best debit card solutions for the elderly.

Features: This card was set up specifically to be used by an attorney for a donor.  The card is customisable in the App so you can set limits for online/phone use, separately from high street use.  You can also freeze and unfreeze the card immediately.

App: The attorney can manage the App and the donor or the carer can have the card.
Spending Limits: limits can be set for daily and monthly spending as well as cashpoint withdrawal limits.
Real-time Notifications: you get notified on your phone or through the app when the card is being used.
Auto top-up: you can link the bank account to the card and get auto top-ups when the card gets low in funds.
No Overdrafts: never go into overdraft.

– Easy to set up and manage through the Sibstar app
– Ensures a degree of financial independence while providing security
– Specifically designed for the attorney and donor
– In collaboration with the Alzheimer’s Society

– Monthly fees for the card are currently £4.99
– Need to provide LPA documents and ID the donor

2. Starling Bank Connected Card

Starling Bank offers a “Connected Card” designed for those who need to give trusted individuals access to their funds without compromising their main account.

Separate Card: The Connected Card is linked to the main account but operates independently, allowing carers to make purchases on behalf of the account holder.

App: Use the Starling App Connected Space.
Spending Limit: Users can set a spending limit of up to £200, providing a safeguard against large unauthorised transactions.
Real-time Notifications: The account holder receives notifications of transactions, ensuring transparency and control.
No Overdrafts: This card cannot go into overdraft, preventing accidental debt accumulation.

– Easy to set up and manage through the Starling Bank app.
– Ensures a degree of financial independence while providing security.
– No monthly fees for the card.
– For use by a trusted individual, no need for official documents.

– Limited to Starling Bank account holders.
– Maximum limit of £200 may be restrictive for some.

3. Barclays Basic Current Account with Power of Attorney Access

Barclays offers a Basic Current Account that can be managed by a designated Power of Attorney (PoA), ensuring that finances are overseen by a trusted individual.

PoA Management: The appointed PoA can manage the account, making it easier to oversee transactions and prevent misuse.
Debit Card Access: The account comes with a debit card for the PoA, which can be used to make purchases and withdraw cash.
Fee-Free Banking: The Basic Current Account does not charge monthly fees, making it a cost-effective solution.

– Comprehensive control for caregivers.
– Secure and reliable, backed by a major UK bank.
– Suitable for those who need more extensive financial management.

– Requires legal documentation for the LPA, which can be complex to set up.
– Less independence for the account holder.

4. Santander Carers Card Account

The Santander Carers Card Account lets the elderly account holder give debit cards to 2 people who care for them. The money transferred to the Carers Card is separate from the other current and savings accounts. This means the carers can get cash or go shopping for elderly.


App: Both the account holder and the carer have access to the mobile banking app.  Although a separate login will be given to the carer so they will only see the Carers Card Account.
Spending Controls: There is a separate account set up for the carer and funds of up to £1,500 can be put in to it.  It can only be used for withdrawals and purchases, not for direct debits or standing orders.
Alerts and Notifications: There is no real-time notification.  You would need to check the account.

It provides a simple way to help with shopping and petty cash for carers.

It does not provide other services and is a fairly simple solution.

5. TSB Spend & Save Plus Account

The TSB Spend & Save Plus Account offers a debit card with customisable spending controls, making it suitable for elderly individuals with dementia.


App: Yes but, not specifically for the attorney.
Spending Controls: Set daily spending limits and restrict certain types of transactions, such as online purchases or cash withdrawals.
Alerts and Notifications: Receive real-time alerts for transactions to monitor account activity.
Overdraft Protection: Built-in safeguards to prevent unauthorised overdrafts.

– Flexible spending controls tailored to individual needs.
– Real-time monitoring for added security.
– Offers a balance between independence and oversight.

– Monthly fee of £3 for the Plus account.
– Requires internet banking proficiency for optimal use.

6. Monzo Joint Account

Monzo offers a joint account option, allowing shared control and oversight of finances between the elderly individual and a trusted family member or caregiver.

Shared Management: Both parties have access to the account, making it easier to manage finances collectively.
Instant Notifications: Real-time transaction notifications keep both parties informed.
Spending Insights: Detailed spending analysis helps track and manage expenses.

– Promotes transparency and shared responsibility.
– No monthly fees for the joint account.
– Easy to set up and manage via the Monzo app.

– Requires both parties to be Monzo account holders.
– Potential privacy concerns with shared access.

7. Pockit Prepaid Card

The Pockit Prepaid Card is a prepaid solution that offers robust financial control, making it ideal for elderly individuals with dementia.

Prepaid Balance: Load a specific amount onto the card, limiting the risk of overspending.
Spending Limits: Set limits on how much can be spent or withdrawn daily.
Online Management: Easily manage and monitor the card online or through the Pockit app.

– No credit checks
– No risk of overdraft or debt accumulation.
– Comprehensive spending controls.
– Accessible and easy to use.

– Small fees for certain transactions (e.g., cash withdrawals).
– Must be reloaded periodically, requiring management.


Choosing the right debit card solution for elderly individuals with dementia involves balancing independence with security. The options outlined above offer a range of features designed to protect and support individuals while allowing carers to manage finances effectively. Whether through traditional bank accounts with PoA, prepaid cards, or innovative solutions like Sibstar or the Starling Bank Connected Card, there are multiple ways to ensure financial safety and autonomy for those living with dementia in the UK. The key is to assess the specific needs and preferences of the individual to select the most suitable option.

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