PASSD establishes transparent biometric verification based payment solution

ISLAMABAD, Oct 11 (APP):Poverty Alleviation and Social Safety Division (PASSD) have established a robust and transparent biometric verification based payment solution to facilitate beneficiaries.

According to details, Benazir Income Support Program (BISP) have signed a contract with Habib Bank Limited and Bank Alfalah for disbursement of funds to the deserving people.

Talking to APP, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Poverty Alleviation Dr Sania Nishtar said the new biometric based payment solution developed by BISP through an open and consultative process was a great step to ensure good governance, transparency and efficiency in the payment mechanism for beneficiaries.

Hiring of the new financial institutions through a transparent and open competitive bidding process was a significant development for improved service delivery and fraud prevention, she added.

Dr. Nishtar said the new payment solution has been designed in line with the PM’s vision of financial inclusion of poor women through one woman-one account as envisaged under the government’s flagship Ehsaas Program.

It will enhance choices for the beneficiaries under Kafalat program to collect cash grants through biometric verification at branchless banking retailers, an enhanced network of biometric enabled ATMs, campsites in remote areas and biometric enabled bank branches, she added.

Commenting on bidding process and lowest service charges quoted by the newly hired financial institutions, Dr. Sania said the most significant feature of the new contracts was the saving of more than Rs 2 billion in terms of bank service charges. These savings will be channeled to further assist the poor families, she added.

The deep involvement of BISP Board in designing the system and oversight the Board provided to the procurement process was critical to the success of the process.

Commenting on features of disbursement system, Dr. Nishtar said the new biometric verification based payment solution loaded with advanced security features would help manage fraud in the disbursement system and ensure hassle free payment with no involvement of agents.

The BISP, after thorough review by its board, have developed the BVS payment solution in consultation with all the stakeholders including Ministry of Finance (MoF), SBP, NADRA, PTA, Auditor General of Pakistan (AGP) and Controller General of Accounts (CGA) with technical assistance from World Bank and Department for International Development (DFID).
A competitive procurement process completed within eight months was carried out in most transparent manner with representation from all relevant ministries and organizations.

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