The Ministries of Public Telecommunications and Social Security are collaborating on a project which will allow pensioners to utilise a card system in their day to day business transactions.
Making this announcement in several villages in the North Rupununi, was Public Telecommunications Minister, Catherine Hughes, who explained that once the project is launched, pensioners will be able to have their dues loaded onto a card, which can be used procure items from shops and stores.
She explained, “Everybody [pensioner] has a little card, and on that card, you get your pension, and every single shop got a little card reader. So, you don’t even have to actually get the money in your hand. If you want to, you can get it like that, but with this card every month your pension goes straight to the card then you could take the card and you could go around to the shops or the stores, because each of them will have one [card reader] and with just a swipe that would be how you pay for your items.”
The Minister added that such an arrangement is common in most countries, noting also, that it is effective since it eliminates the hassle involved in getting to post offices and other facilities. Further, it will be convenient for pensioners living in the hinterland regions, she said.
However, the minister stressed that this would be optional as persons can still collect their pension in cash or have it transferred to the bank.
“I know for many people the distance you have to travel to collect your pension means you have to spend money for the minibus because of that you don’t go collect your pensions for two to three months.”
The announcement of the Public Telecommunications Minister comes on the heels of a similar disclosure made by Social Protection Minister, Amna Ally, who had said that pensioners will be able to access their pensions at the bank of their choice starting 2020.