‘Digitized payment options for pensioners soon’ – Min. Hughes

─ Pensioners can buy groceries, other items with special reloadable card

─ cash, bank options will still be available to pensioners

DPI, Guyana, Friday, October 4, 2019

The government is working on a plan to make it easier for pensioners to receive their funds.

This will be done through a collaborative effort between the Ministry of Public Telecommunications and the Social Protection Ministry.

Once successful, pensioners will be able to have their pension loaded on a card and used at small shops and stores where they will need to uplift groceries and other items.

“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.” Minister of Public Telecommunications, Hon. Catherine Hughes explained how the card is expected work.

This is an advanced option of transacting business and is one of the most effective and efficient ways of spending money. It is practiced in several countries across the globe. Minister Hughes noted that this will be specifically convenient for pensioners in the hinterland and far-flung communities.

This option, which the government is seeking to introduce, is said to be more convenient. Further, it will eliminate the need for senior citizens to be walking around with liquid cash upon receipt of their pension.

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.”

Minister Hughes made these remarks while engaging several villages in the North Rupununi. While there, she spoke specifically to the senior Indigenous Peoples. She explained that the government is working towards ensuring that the Indigenous Peoples are treated with the highest level of respect. Moreover, there is a continued push for Guyanese, as a whole, to experience the ‘good life’.

The announcement of the Public Telecommunications Minister comes on the heels of a similar disclosure made by Social Protection Minister, Hon. Amna Ally, who had said that pensioners will be able to access their pensions at the bank of their choice starting 2020.