Workshop held on payment system reform for social protection in Bangladesh

Workshop held on payment system reform for social protection in Bangladesh

A workshop was held on “Payment System Reform of Social Protection Programmes” on August 9, 2017 at the Conference Hall of Controller General of Accounts (CGA), CGA Bhaban, Segunbagicha, Dhaka.

The National Social Security Strategy (NSSS) of the Government of Bangladesh emphasises on ‘Strengthening the Delivery of the National Social Security System’. The strategy prioritizes key reform in strengthening payment mechanism to make it Government to Person (G2P) payment system so that it promotes financial inclusion and prevents leakages. In this backdrop, the Finance Division had requested the SPFMSP project to conduct a research study on ‘Payment System’ and suggest the way forward for improving the existing payment system as required by the NSSS.

The findings of said study revealed that all the prevalent methods of delivery suffer from challenges on the demand-side as well as on the supply-side, and are generally characterized by weak information systems and lack of adequate accountability structures. Inadequate monitoring along with unsatisfactory beneficiary identification mechanisms may be encouraging duplicate and fraudulent payments.

The payment system of most of the social protection programmes is not beneficiary-friendly and is way too costly for beneficiaries in terms of their travel expenses and opportunity lost in collecting the benefits. As the current system stands, beneficiaries usually have no option to choose a mode of payment most suitable to them. On the basis of such findings, the study proposed for establishment of efficient and effective system-driven payment mechanisms, which will allow the beneficiaries to make informed choices, be cost-effective and transparent.