Last year Bank Alfalah initiated a strategic partnership with “Ehsaas” as a digital payment solution provider for the new Kafaalat cash-transfer program, facilitating beneficiaries through a robust and transparent biometric verification based payment solution.
Moving forward in making this partnership a success, Bank Alfalah launched Biometric Verification Systems (BVS) enabled ATM and POS agents dedicated to the Kafaalat Program. The inauguration ceremony was held at a Bank Alfalah branch at Shuba Chowk in Peshawar; attended by Dr. Sania Nishtar, Prime Minister’s Special Assistant on Social Protection and Poverty Alleviation, Mr. Faisal Rauf, Head of Corporate and SMME, Digital Banking Group-Bank Alfalah and several members of the Ehsaas Board.
As a part of this initiative, the beneficiaries under the Government of Pakistan Kafaalat Program will be facilitated to shift from cash grant withdrawal through a Beneficiary Disbursement Card (BDC) to the state-of-the-art, Biometric Verification Systems (BVS) based withdrawal at branches, ATMs as well as branchless banking agent touch-points.
Beneficiaries of the program are women with no other source of income. This new process holds a mandatory requirement of the physical presence of the beneficiary and requires them to press their thumb against the fingerprint reading device, which will not only ensure proof of life of the beneficiary but also make certain that the hand receiving the cash grant is that of the ‘right’ individual. This new arrangement would be especially beneficial for women who commonly do not have much control over their own money. This also saves them from hassles such as lost or stolen cards, forgotten pin, and other related issues.
Dr. Sania Nishtar said, “Under previous cash transfer programs, women were forced to travel long distances to access retail shops, and too often were subject to abuse by greedy retail agents. Under the new system, women will be able to go to biometric ATMs and branches, empowering them through financial inclusion and protecting them from corrupt financial mistreatment.”
The aim of the implementation of this system is to ensure that the cash grant reaches its intended beneficiaries through a secure and transparent mechanism helping the Kafaalat Program minimize fraud in the disbursement system and ensure hassle-free payments with complete automation.
Group Head – Digital Banking at Bank Alfalah, Mr. Yahya Khan said, “Bank Alfalah, as one of the leading financial enablers in Pakistan, takes pride in providing state-of-the-art banking solutions for digitizing financial payments. By implementing BVS based cash withdrawals for Ehsaas Program, we aim to support the establishment of good governance, eliminate misutilization of poverty alleviation funds; and in parallel, handhold the marginalized female strata of our nation towards financial inclusion.”