Monthend long queus at post offices across the country, especially during facilitation of social benefit payments, are expected to be a thing of the past following the introduction of the admirable ‘PosoCard’ by BotswanaPost.
Services that are expected to be improved include payments of Old Age Pensions, World War Veterans and Destitute allowances.
The new system named ‘PosoCard’ means that the existing beneficiaries will be migrated from the old system of using coupons, into the new one.
Botswana Post Chief Executive, Pele Moleta, said at the launch thatPosoCard is an electronic smart card that will replace the current voucher system used to pay social beneficiary money. “We found it necessary to switch from the voucher system to the card payments as the production, reconciliation and distribution of the vouchers is lengthy and therefore costly. As opposed to the voucher system which only had one purpose, the card has more uses,” he said
Beneficiaries, according to Moleta, can use their PosoCard to access their social benefit anywhere in the country and at anytime using multiple payment channels, such as Post Offices, cash pay-points, and selected merchant stores.
The card may also be used to purchase goods at a participatingpayment vendorhaving a point-of-sale (POS) device, purchase airtime, pay water and electricity accounts and other services. “The beneficiary need not withdraw all their money at once and can save money for a rainy day.In future, the card can also be used to save money as a savings account. Should the card get lost, stolen or broken, this will not affect the money in the beneficiary’s account and a replacement can be issued at P22.00.Beneficiaries need not withdraw all their money immediately. Money will only be returned to the Department of Social Protection after a period of three months has elapsed without any activity in the beneficiary’s account.”
Unlike with the current voucher system where anyone could steal a beneficiary’s voucher and claim to be a relative to receive the money, only authorised recipients may use the PosoCard.
During registration, all ten fingers are scanned and their prints will be used to identify the beneficiary. This will also apply in the cases of beneficiaries who have appointed relatives to receive money on their behalf. “Just over two years ago we started by investing in our ‘Core IT infrastructure’. Optimizing and improving our technical capability to be able to harness technology in order to deliver first class services to Botswana nationwide.
Side by side with the IT infrastructure optimization was the counter automation. This project was geared at ensuring that our counter at all our post offices is fully automated such that all the transactions are centralised, meaning that we can have a single view of all activities across our postal network, as a result providing convenience and efficiency in serving our customers.”
Moleta said this enables DSP and BotswanaPost to update beneficiary details on real time, hence gives customersconvenience of access to their funds anywhere in Botswana.