Datasonic proposes ATM cards for targeted subsidies distributions

by AFIQ HANIF / pic source:

DATASONIC Corp Sdn Bhd has put a proposal to the government, suggesting the adoption of ATM cards for targeted subsidies distribution.

The company, known for its expertise in secure identification and authentication solutions, believes that this approach can revolutionise subsidy programmes, ensuring efficient allocation of resources and reducing leakages.

ED BC Chuah said the use of ATM cards, linked to specific subsidy programmes, has revolutionised the way governments can reach their intended beneficiaries.

“One of the key advantages of using ATM cards for subsidy distribution is the ability to precisely target the eligible population.

“By linking the subsidy directly to the card, governments can ensure that only those who qualify receive the benefits, reducing the risk of leakage and fraud,” he told The Malaysian Reserve (TMR).

Chuah added targetted subsidies have long been a challenge for governments, as traditional methods such as cash transfers or vouchers have proven to be less efficient and prone to corruption and mismanagement.

“However, the use of ATM cards, linked to specific subsidy programmes, has revolutionised the way governments can reach their intended beneficiaries because everyone or majority of rakyat have debit cards and they are linked to the bank.

“Beneficiaries can withdraw funds at their convenience from any ATM, eliminating the need for them to travel long distances or rely on intermediaries to access their entitlements,” he said.

Meanwhile, Datasonic business development director Abdul Razak Mohd Nordin said the company has engaged in discussions with Bank Simpanan Nasional (BSN), one of Malaysia’s banks with an extensive bottom 40% income group (B40) record.

“We know that BSN has a robust database and expertise in serving the lower-income segment and can contribute significantly to the success of targeted subsidy programmes.

“By leveraging BSN’s extensive B40 record, which includes data on individuals from the lower-income bracket, Datasonic aims to create a comprehensive and accurate database for identifying eligible beneficiaries. This will allow the government to effectively reach and assist those in need, ensuring that subsidies are directed towards the most vulnerable segments of society,” he said.

The government is currently in the process of studying new mechanisms to distribute subsidies to the people.

Several countries have already successfully implemented ATM-based subsidy programmes, with notable results. India’s Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) scheme, for instance, has utilised ATM cards to distribute subsidies for cooking gas, food grains and scholarships.

Through this initiative, India has been able to save billions of dollars by reducing leakages and eliminating ghost beneficiaries.

Similarly, Brazil’s Bolsa Família programme has leveraged ATM cards to provide conditional cash transfers to low-income families.

By using a combination of biometric identification and ATM card technology, Brazil has successfully reached millions of eligible households, significantly reducing poverty rates and improving social welfare outcomes.