Biometric smartcards to streamline pension disbursement in Pakistan

November 23, 2012 - 

Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari has directed the National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA) to issue biometric smart cards to pensioners, enabling them to withdraw pensions from banks and post offices.

Zardari believes that pension disbursement through NADRA’s smart Computerized National Identity Card (CNIC) will not only streamline the pension disbursement system but would also provide a great comfort to pensioners, as currently these pensioners have to queue for days before receiving payments. The President’s remarks came while chairing a briefing on pension disbursement through smart CNIC, attended by many ministers and senior officials early this week, Pakistan Today reported.

In August, Zardari tasked NADRA to work on a comprehensive plan to streamline the existing pension system and it was expected that plan would recommend the issuance of biometric smart cards.

During this most recent briefing, NADRA Chairman Tariq Malik said that while analyzing pensioner data, 75% of it was found to not be linked with valid and verifiable identities, which could result in widespread duplication.

A spokesperson for the president said that all of the technology components are fully developed by NADRA, tested and ready for deployment.

As reported previously in, NADRA announced Pakistan’s roll out of smart ID cards in October, as the country moves to implement a number of new biometric and smart card initiatives.

A recent BiometricUpdate Biometric Research Note suggests systematic processes are needed to implement government eID programs, as new challenges arise regarding issuance, usability and accuracy.

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Adam Vrankulj is an editor for His background consists of online news writing, editing and content marketing. Adam has written for, BlogTO and was the editor and curator for the nextMEDIA and CIX Source publications. He has a degree in journalism and is passionate about science, technology and social innovation. Contact Adam, or follow him at @adamvrankulj