Blantyre DC touts electronic cash payments  

District Commissioner for Blantyre, Bennet Nkasala has touted electronic payment of social cash transfers, saying the initiative will reduce risks associated with manual disbursement of the money.

Nkasala was speaking on Tuesday during the introduction of TNM to Blantyre District Council for the provision of e-payment services for the social cash transfer program.

He said the introduction of electronic social cash transfer would reduce risk factors such as theft, fraud, and time management in the process of administering the money intended to improve people’s socio-economic status.

“For the past four or three years, we’ve delivered the program with a good share of challenges such that the e-payment will help in addressing such problems which ranged from hiring costs for a security detail to difficulties in sourcing a fleet of vehicles for the exercise,” Nkasala explained.

Blantyre District Commissioner
Nkasala: the E-payment will reduce fraud and theft

He said the initiative is very good since, by the end of the day, people in the program would be served better. Nkasala further disclosed that at least 7,560 people are registered in the social cash transfer in Blantyre.

The district commissioner, therefore, said the district council is geared to facilitate a smooth implementation of the electronic cash transfer for the benefit of the district residents, most of whom, he said, are vulnerable, like the elderly, persons with disabilities, and child-headed households.

Nkasala then thanked the government for cultivating the relationship between the council and TNM in the cash disbursement.

TNM Chief Executive Officer, Arnold Mbwana, committed the company to implement the service in a sustainable manner as one way of contributing to the socio-economic development of the country.

Mbwana further commended the government for providing TNM with the opportunity to contribute towards improving the status of people in Blantyre through the disbursement of the cash transfer through its mobile money platforms.

“We’re very proud to partner with the government in this noble task; TNM has 50, 000 Mpamba agents across the country which adds some confidence in beneficiaries of Mtukula Pakhomo about the safety, coverage, and cost-effectiveness of the program,” he said.

“At TNM, we’re looking at this program, not as a once-off activity, but rather a long-term service to the nation.

“In fact, we would like to look at this opportunity to provide local solutions facing the district council,” he added.

Mbwana said TNM would work towards building the capacity of its mobile money products so that people could transact with ease and deploy thousands of kiosks as one way of responding to changes in technology.

Mbwana: the E-payment is a long-term service to the nation

Deputy Director of Social Welfare (responsible for Social Cash Transfer Programme), Laurent Kansinjiro, said the electronic cash transfer is in line with his ministry’s reform agenda of migrating from manual to e-payment.

“We’re changing the procedure of paying the cash from manual to electronic, to minimize fiduciary risks, theft and fraud and handling of huge amounts of money which was in itself a problem,” Kansinjiro said.

He said the electronic payment is an attempt to harmonize payment of all social protection programs not limited to social cash transfer, but also other schemes like Public Works Programme and humanitarian aid.

“What is critical to all this is the choice concept whereby a beneficiary is served with dignity and freedom to cash out the money at their convenience, unlike having fixed pay dates,” added Kansinjiro.