Bank Alfalah Launches Biometric Verification For Ehsaas Program

Bank Alfalah have launched Biometric Verification through enabling ATM and agents for their Ehsaas Program for the newly launched  Kafaalat cash-transfer program.

Bank Alfalah has been in an active partnership with Ehsaas that has lasted for over a year now. With this partnership, Bank Alfalah now hope to be a digital payment solution provider for the newly launched Kafaalat cash-transfer program.

This agreement facilitates beneficiaries through a new and transparent biometric verification-based payment solution. Bank Alfalah launched their version of the Biometric Verification Systems (BVS) enabled ATM and POS agents which are dedicated to the Kafaalat Program. In order to make the launch of the verification office, the bank held an inauguration ceremony at the Bank Alfalah branch at Shuba Chowk in Peshawar. The meeting was attended by noteworth personalities such as 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 other members of the Ehsaas Board.

After the biometric service is launched, the beneficiaries that are under the Government of Pakistan Kafaalat Program, will now be helped to divert from a cash grant withdrawal through a Beneficiary Disbursement Card (BDC) to a modernized Biometric Verification Systems (BVS) based withdrawal at branches of the bank, ATMs and branchless banking agent touch-points. Their main focus is working for the benefit of women who have no source of income.

This method will follow a mandatory requirement to involve physical presence of the beneficiary and requires them to press their thumb against the fingerprint reading device, to ensure the amount is received to the right person and that they have received the cash grant. To ensure they are not involved in hassling and other issues such as lost or stolen cards, forgotten pin etc. According to Dr. Sania Nishtar: “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”.

As a way to ensure the cash grant reaches its intended beneficiaries through a transparent system, automated methods such as these should be promoted. Yahya Khan, Group Head Digital Banking at Bank Alfalah, said that: “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”.