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Economy

Biometric cards to be used for cash transfers

Elderly people follow proceedings during the launch of the cash transfer to older persons ‘Inua Jamii’ programme by President Uhuru Kenyatta at Ihura stadium in Murang’a in February. Photo/Joseph Kanyi
Elderly people follow proceedings during the launch of the cash transfer to older persons ‘Inua Jamii’ programme by President Uhuru Kenyatta at Ihura stadium in Murang’a in February 2014. FILE PHOTO |   NATION MEDIA GROUP

Biometric smart cards will now be used to distribute the monthly State stipend for the elderly, orphans and the disabled in an effort to curb fraud.

President Uhuru Kenyatta Tuesday launched the cards that will capture fingerprints of the beneficiaries or their caregivers.

The cards will replace the system where beneficiaries have been receiving cash from Postbank using their national identity cards, a model that has been prone to fraud.

“Biometric registration will increase efficiency and avoid duplication in the cash transfers,” said Mr Kenyatta at the launch of a week-long national social protection conference in Nairobi.

The smart cards will be swiped or tapped on a machine provided at KCB branches or the banker’s agents for one to receive the Sh2,000 monthly stipend.

“This is part of our measures to fight corruption and ensure transparency in the Inua Jamii cash transfer programme,” Labour secretary Kazungu Kambi said.

KCB won the tender in bidding that attracted Co-op Bank, Safaricom, National Bank and Equity Bank.

The Treasury raised the allocation to poor households in the current fiscal year to Sh15.8 billion from Sh13.4 billion last year. Currently, 444,000 people benefit from the stipends, according to the Ministry of Labour.

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