Postbank introduces new cardless payment for social grants

But concern raised about how Postbank will handle these new payment methods

| By

A social grant queue in Gugulethu, Cape Town. Postbank has introduced a new cardless payment. Archive photo: Mary-Anne Gontsana

  • Postbank has introduced a new cardless payment for social grant beneficiaries whose South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) Gold Card is expiring.
  • Beneficiaries have been struggling for nearly two months to get their cards renewed at Post Office branches.
  • But Western Cape Social Development MEC Sharna Fernandez has raised concerns about how Postbank will deal with this new payment method.

Postbank has suddenly introduced a new cardless payment system following widespread panic over the expiry of millions of South African Social Security Agency (SASSA)/Postbank Gold Cards over the next few months.

But concerns about possible “blunders” by Postbank in the new system have been raised by Western Cape Social Development MEC Sharna Fernandez.

On Monday 24 April, Postbank said in a statement that SASSA gold card holders would now be able to collect social grant payments from retailers such as Shoprite, Usave, Pick n Pay, and Boxer. This meant they would no longer need to go to Post Office branches to collect new cards once theirs expire.

Some Post Offices, under pressure from long queues of beneficiaries who wanted to renew expiring cards, had to send people away because they ran out of new cards, among other issues, GroundUp reported earlier this week.

The first batch of 175,000 cards expired at the end of March. In April nearly 860,000 will have expired and a further 2.8 million in May and 1.8 million in June, according to Postbank.

Postbank said in its statement that the new method will “help reduce the queues for card replacements at Post Office branches as there is no longer the need to collect cards to be paid”.

SASSA national spokesperson Paseka Letsatsi said that they were not expecting any challenges with the new cardless payment method.

He said the new method would help beneficiaries who haven’t been able to replace their cards at Post Office branches. “They can now go to participating retailers with just their ID document, SASSA Gold Card pin and cellphone numbers to withdraw the money,” said Letsatsi.

But Fernandez said the new cardless payment system had not been tested and might be “yet another blunder on the part of Postbank”.

She said if a communication strategy was not put in place to reach elderly people or people living in rural areas, the new payment method would be a fruitless exercise because queues outside Post Offices would continue.

GroundUp reported earlier this year that Postbank experienced system “glitches” that meant that millions of beneficiaries weren’t able to access their grants.

TOPICS:  Social Grants

Next:  Langa Centenary celebrations to kick off on Freedom Day

Previous:  Chief Justice’s office stonewalls requests for reports on late judgments

© 2023 GroundUp. This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

You may republish this article, so long as you credit the authors and GroundUp, and do not change the text. Please include a link back to the original article.

We put an invisible pixel in the article so that we can count traffic to republishers. All analytics tools are solely on our servers. We do not give our logs to any third party. Logs are deleted after two weeks. We do not use any IP address identifying information except to count regional traffic. We are solely interested in counting hits, not tracking users. If you republish, please do not delete the invisible pixel.