27 November 2015

MasterCard readies smart cards for Iraqi welfare reforms

12 June 2013  |  4136 views  |  0 card chip

MasterCard is partnering with the UN World Food Programme (WPF) to promote the use of smart cards for the distribution of welfare benefits such as healthcare and education credits and food vouchers in Iraq.

Details of an initial pilot for the potential introduction of electronic food vouchers in the Iraqi Public Distribution System (PDS) are being hammered out in a two-day technical workshop comprising representatives from the Iraqi government, the WPF and MasterCard.

"We expect that this workshop and the subsequent national consultative seminar will pave the way to implement a pilot project in specific areas in Iraq to examine the feasibility and benefits of adopting electronic cards to provide Iraqi citizens with an improved service and a food basket that will help improve food security in Iraq and contribute to the growth of our national economy," says Deputy Minister of Planning Mahdi M. Al-Alak. "The evaluation of the results of the pilot project will inform our decision on the possibility of adopting electronic cards within the PDS on a national scale."

Electronic vouchers are more financially secure than traditional cash transfers, and they act as a flexible tool that can help harmonise the distribution of many types of social welfare, argues WPF: "They could also be considered as a means to transfer not only credits for food, but for health care, education and other items."

The two-day workshop will be followed by a consultative meeting on 12 June to discuss a timetable for welfare reform.

Comments: (0)

Comment on this story (membership required)
Log in to receive notifications when someone posts a comment

Finextra news in your inbox

For Finextra's free daily newsletter, breaking news flashes and weekly jobs board, sign up now.

Related blogs

Create a blog about this story (membership required)

Related stories

03 June, 2013
09 May, 2013
20 September, 2012
13 September, 2012
31 July, 2012

Related company news

Your browser is unable to support Flash files.

Who is commenting?

Finextra Member Commented on: EPC publishes proposal...
Finextra Member Commented on: EPC publishes proposal...

Top topics

Most viewed Most shared
BBVA buys 29.5% stake in Atom for £45...
7714 views comments | 34 tweets | 41 linkedin
BNP Paribas to test contactless payment di...
6023 views comments | 17 tweets | 25 linkedin
Former Barclays chief forecasts massive jo...
5632 views comments | 27 tweets | 29 linkedin
Hilton confirms data breach
5299 views comments | 11 tweets | 17 linkedin
Alternative payment methods challenge plas...
5136 views comments | 21 tweets | 23 linkedin

Featured job

Competitive base, double OTE
New York City, NY. USA

Find your next job