Under the National Social Protection Policy, 500,000 people aged 70 and above (registration happened last year from July-August) are to receive cash allocations of Ksh. 4, 000 every two months on an unconditional basis and Equity Bank has been chosen as one of four financial institutions who will be making a disbursement to the senior citizens.
The National Treasury allocated Ksh.6.7 billion for the programme covering up to mid-2018. The amount is an expansion of the Older Person Cash Transfer Programme that has been running since 2007 targeting people above 65 years of age on condition that they are poor and vulnerable, a member of their household is not in any gainful employment or receiving a regular income.
The programme’s beneficiaries under Equity Bank will get an account and an Equity Bank Inua Jamii smart card; the card in use incorporates biometric authentication where fingerprints of the beneficiaries or their caregivers will be required to withdraw the amount.
This is expected to reduce instances of fraud and increase accountability in the programme, especially considering that due to their age, the beneficiaries might be targets for people looking to exploit them. Additionally, as a security measure, the beneficiaries of the programme can choose to use the amount without withdrawing cash; as the card supports direct purchases and payment for services like healthcare.
Enrolment for the cash transfer programme by the State Department of Social Protection started on Monday 16th April and will go on until Friday 27th April 2018. Here is how to register yourself or a loved one:
Validation and Enrolment Process
To receive the amount, go to a mobilization centre near you with a valid copy of your identity card.
Officers from the Ministry of Labour and Social Protection will confirm the correctness of your details as per those given when you registered last year.
You will then select a bank of your choice; available options include Equity, KCB, Cooperative or Post Bank, your chosen financial institution will go ahead and check whether you have opened another account under the same programme, if not, they will take your biometric data (fingerprints) and a copy of your identity card.
Your details will then be checked against the list provided by the ministry and if they check out the bank will then open an account for you.
For those who open an account with Equity Bank, the offers available include free first two withdrawals, free first ATM card, two free balance inquiries after every payment cycle (2 months), unlimited access to Equity Bank’s mobile banking, zero opening balance, and zero account maintenance balance, among others.
The bank has experience in disbursing social payments like this one including the Hunger Safety Net Programme (HSNP), which distributes humanitarian aid to households in the arid areas of Northern Kenya in form of cash transfers to deepen financial inclusion through movement from food aid to more sustainable forms of socio-economic development.
” We will use the experience gathered while implementing social payments as a stepping stone to successfully roll out the Inua Jamii 70 and Above programme to senior citizens across the country,” said Mr. Allan Waititu, Equity Bank’s Special Projects Director.
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