Government of Pakistan
Benazir Income Support Program (BISP)
BISP develops a robust and transparent biometric verification based payment solution to facilitate beneficiaries
BISP signs contract with HBL and Bank Alfalah for disbursement
Dr. Sania Nishtar terms the new payment system a step towards good governance
Islamabad; October 10, 2019:
Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Poverty Alleviation and Social Protection and Chairperson BISP Dr. Sania Nishtar has said that series of policy initiatives and measures are being taken to turn BISP into a model of good governance. She said that 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. She was speaking at the contract signing ceremony of the contracts between BISP, Bank Alfalah and Habib Bank.
The contracts with HBL and BAFL were signed today during a ceremony held at the BISP Headquarters, Islamabad. The ceremony was attended in addition to Dr. Nishtar by Secretary BISP, Mr. Ali Raza Bhutta, President HBL, Group Head Digital Banking BAFL and members of BISP Board.
Dr. Nishtar said that the new payment Solution has been designed in line with the Prime Minister’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 Kifalat 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 that the most significant feature of the new contracts is 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 said. These savings are a reflection of the extremely thorough work that BISP Board and management did in conducting the procurement process. 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 that the new Biometric verification based payment solution loaded with advanced security features will help manage fraud in the disbursement system and ensure hassle free payment with no involvement of agents.
BISP after thorough review by its Board 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 in eight months was carried out in most transparent manner with representation from all relevant ministries and organizations.