When the world was hit by the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, the South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) was forced to reduce the number of clients permitted to visit its offices.
Clients were not permitted to visit SASSA offices to give consent for funeral insurance deductions from their social assistance payments. Through collaboration with one of the local Fintech companies, SASSA introduced submission of electronic mandates in two phases:
- Phase 1 was meant to allow temporary submission of paper mandates electronically with the above referred Fintech company playing the role of a compliance gate keeper on behalf of SASSA. The phase 1 implementation had the following impact:
- Client deduction disputes reduced.
- Fraud and misrepresentation by external agents reduced.
- Phase 2 covers full automation of electronic mandates through collection of voice, fingerprint and face biometrics of clients, as the only acceptable instruction to deduct from a social grant. The participating financial services providers will be required to process all applications using a device that will capture biometrics of beneficiaries and they will be used to validate applications and give approval.