Banking meets social justice with SASSA’s grant payment cards
The South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) has, over the years, sought to ensure that South Africans have access to the financial resources that fulfil basic needs. Through the social grant programme that provides funds to people with disabilities, senior citizens and children among many other groups, the agency has helped millions of South Africans to better achieve financially sustainable lives. As of four years ago, social grants have been automatically loaded onto SASSA cards (but can also be deposited into a bank account by special request) that can be used to pay at participating vendors or withdraw money at ATMs. Paycorp has always been passionate about the welfare of all South Africans and necessary initiatives such as this. In this blog we’ll look at how banking technology has helped the success of SASSA’s social grant programme.
The SASSA social grant programme has almost 17-million beneficiaries
The programme has seven social grant types, namely the Child Support Grant, Old Age Grant, War Veterans Grant, Disability Grant, Grant-in-Aid, Foster Child Grant and the Care Dependency Grant. As of 31 May 2016, the programme had 16.9-million beneficiaries in total, which is a far cry from the 2.9-million beneficiaries it had when it was first launched. Social grants are reaching more people in need and gradually reducing the effect of poverty on our country’s citizens. As Minister of Social Development, Bathabile Dlamini, puts it: “The growth in social grants signifies a noteworthy achievement by government to provide for, and support those who are unable to provide for themselves.”
SASSA social grant cards have given beneficiaries freedom and security
In 2012, SASSA launched the new payment system that took advantage of card and biometrics technology to make grant payments easier. Social grants are paid into SASSA-branded chip and PIN cards on the first day of every month, eliminating the need for recipients to stand in long queues to retrieve their grants. The cards are protected by biometric finger-scanning technology and a PIN and can be used to retrieve funds at SASSA pay points and ATMs or to spend at participating retail business (such as Checkers, Pick n Pay, Boxer, Spar and Shoprite). If these businesses (as well as smaller stores and retail merchants surrounding them) are smart they can target specific grant payment days to run specials and promotions. For example, cutting the price of nappies and baby products when child-care grants are paid.
80% of beneficiaries withdraw their money within a week of payment
Before the introduction of the new payment system and the social grant cards, it could take SASSA up to 21 days to roll out payments to beneficiaries. Now, all funds are issued to recipients on the first day of the month every month thanks to the new infrastructure. This small change has gone a long way to improving the standard of living of millions in the country. Grant pay-out days no longer need to be laborious and time consuming for beneficiaries. The financial inclusion of grant recipients with the help of these cards promotes social security, which is SASSA’s primary objective.
Retail businesses with ATMs nearby simplify life even further for beneficiaries
You don’t have to be a supermarket franchise to make it easier for your customers who are social grant beneficiaries to get to their money faster. By getting an ATM installed around your business, you can provide them with a place to collect the payments and put that money to use all in one location. To learn more about getting an ATM installed with us, download our infographic which explains all the important details of the process.