South Africa Doles Out Welfare Using Fingerprint Scanning

South Africa Doles Out Welfare Using Fingerprint Scanning

The national government has created a new distribution system for welfare and social security beneficiaries using biometric technology.

Karen Summerson
  • 28 september 2012

Those people receiving government assistance in South Africa are now receiving it on a debit card, instead of cash. Attempting to prevent fraud and lower operating costs by almost half, the South Africa Social Security Agency (SASSA) has partnered with MasterCard to overhaul the old system. What makes this system innovative is its biometric functionality, i.e. use of DNA markers, such as fingerprints and vocal recognition to assign accounts to its clients. They’re called biometric welfare cards.

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