How to Send Money to a Prisoner in the UK

If you want to send money to a prisoner in the UK, there have been recent changes to government legislation.


Ways to Send Money to a Prisoner in the UK

The principal way to send money to a prisoner in a UK prison is to make a payment via debit card through the website. You can use this service to make payments via Mastercard, Visa or Maestro debit cards. This is a free and secure service available across all prisons in England and Wales, apart from HMP Thameside. From November 2nd 2020, online secure payment services other than are no longer allowing payments to be made to prisoners.


How to Send Money to a Prisoner by Debit Card

Debit card is the best way to send money to a prisoner in the UK. Using the platform is fast, simple, free and safe. Following the step-by-step instructions on the website, you can send money to prison inmates via debit card, including international payments.


How Do You Know if the Prisoner Has Received the Money?

When sending money to a prisoner, the best way to assure that they have received the money is to ask them when they call you. If you send the money by debit card, you will receive a confirmation email.


Can You Send Money to a Prisoner in the UK for Free?

This new service provided by allows you to send money to a prisoner in the UK for free.


How Long Does it Take to Send Money to a Jail Inmate?

When paying by debit card, the payment can arrive in as little as one working day. Money usually takes less than 3 working days to arrive in the specified account.


What Do You Need to Send Money to a Prisoner in the UK?

In order to send money to a prison inmate, you will need the prisoner’s full name, their date of birth and their prisoner number. You will also need a valid debit card and an online banking account.


How Much Money Can You Send to a Prisoner in the UK?

There is not a limit on how much money you can send to a prisoner in the UK. However, they are limited in what they are allowed to spend. Across most prisoners, prisoners are limited to spending £15.50. They are able to transfer a small amount from their private cash account to their spending account each week. The amount they are allowed to transfer depends on their Incentives and Earned Privileges as well as their conviction status.


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Can I Send Money to a Prisoner in the UK by Bank Transfer?

A debit card is the only way to send money to a prisoner in the UK. You are no longer able to send money by postal order, cheque or sending cash in the post. This is true for all prisons across the UK.

Bank transfers are only possible through online banking websites, mobile banking apps or telephone banking. The service must first be used in order to obtain a reference for the bank transfer. If you want to send multiple payments to the same prisoner, you can reuse the generated code.


What Payment Methods Do Not Work When Sending Money to a Prisoner?

Clearing House Automated Payments System (CHAPS) is a company, administered by the Bank of England, which facilitates large money transfers in GBP.  This service cannot be used to send money to a prisoner in the UK. Additionally, you are no longer able to make in-person payments at a bank.


Can I Make International Payments to Prison Inmates in the UK?

You can make an international payment using a debit card. However, you can not make an international payment using IBAN.



Send money to UK prisoners safely and securely with the service


How Do the Prisoners Receive the Money?

The money is paid directly into the prisoner’s account. This is a basic cash account that prisoners can use to send and receive money. Prisoners are unable to keep cash but the money goes into what is referred to as a “private cash account”.  The money they have can be used to make phone calls or in the prison commissary.

Prison commissaries typically have a range of goods which the prisoners can purchase. These typically include things like snacks, toiletries, clothing and shoes, electronics and entertainment materials. In some prisons, there are tablets available for purchase, by which inmates are able to make calls, download games and other entertainment. Access to this money can be restricted as part of a punishment in the event of an adjudication.


What Else Can I Send to Prison Inmates?

In addition to money, you can send other items to prisoners. These can include reading materials and written correspondences as well as pre-approved packages.


How to Send Money to a Prisoner in HMP Thameside

In order to send money to a prisoner in HMP Thameside, you can go through a secure payment service. This is the only prison which will accept these kinds of payment in England or Wales since the new legislation within the Prison Service. You cannot send money to an inmate in HMP Thameside via debit card payment.


What Happens if You Cannot Use the Online Service?

You can apply for an exemption if, for any reason, you are unable to use a computer, smart phone or the internet. Additionally, if you do not have a debit card. In these circumstances, it may be possible to send prisoners money by post.