You can imagine how excited we were when Prime Minister, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, recently announced the “Social Welfare Card Project.”
Two million low-income Turkish citizens will receive their welfare funds on MasterCard Prepaid Cards. That means beneficiaries such as widows, the disabled, and the elderly, will no longer have to wait in queue for hours on end to get their money. Their benefits will be given to them faster and much more securely. Electronic payments are safer for everyone. With these prepaid cards, recipients can buy food and personal items and if they need cash, they can use the cards to safely withdraw it from participating ATMs.
In Turkey, we believe that a World Beyond Cash is within reach – we have many people and even cities passionate about the possibilities. But to get there, governments that continue to deal in cash need to start using electronic payment systems. If governments issued payments and social welfare benefits electronically, either directly into savings accounts or on prepaid cards, the millions of people who currently don’t have access to basic financial services, could be included in the financial mainstream.
Where have you seen electronic payments enable financial inclusion?