UN terms Ehsaas as best international practice

Zubair Qureshi

In the recently released edition of the United Nations Principles for Responsible Digital Payments 2021, Pakistan’s Ehsaas programme has been featured as an international best practice

The UN’s report highlights that Ehsaas has simplified the know-your-customer procedure for users by collecting simple data fields and issuing accounts after basic verification.

Incentivized 500,000 branchless banking agents to work with the programme by reducing taxes on commission earned from beneficiaries, thereby increased doorstep banking services to elderly, persons with disability, and women.

While responding to the UN report, Dr. Sania Nishtar said she was glad to see Pakistan’s Ehsaas was recognized as international best practice by the UN as it looked to accelerate Responsible Digital Payments to advance developmental progress.”

Ehsaas Emergency Cash payments were made through branchless banking platforms of two commercial banks (in retail settings and specially established payment campsites) and their 1,800 biometrically enabled ATMs. The available cash out points in 2,270 campsites were more than 11,500.

Provincial governments and their security apparatus were responsible for logistic arrangements on ground at the payment campsites to coordinate payments in over 2,270 locations across the country, covering an area of over 881,000 square kilometers.

Money was deposited in limited mandate accounts and individuals were able to draw the money after biometric authentication in real time.