Trinidad and Tobago launches biometric smartcard system for social benefits

Trinidad and Tobago has launched a fingerprint-based smart ID card system to improve the delivery of social benefits to citizens and prevent the growing case of fraud, according to a report by the Guardian.

The system will be officially implemented if Minister of the People and Social Development Christine Newallo-Hosein successfully wins a second term at the September 7th general elections.

By using the biometric card, eligible citizens of Trinidad and Tobago will be able to access a range of social benefits including social assistance grants, disability grants, food cards and general assistance grants.

The biometric card will ultimately help to lower administrative costs, abuse of state funds, fraud, and stress upon beneficiaries, said Newallo-Hosein.

The introduction of the biometric card system has already detected 4,000 dubious applicants, said Newallo-Hosein.

“While we were in the process of enrolling persons for the Biometric Smartcard, four thousand persons were actually removed from the system due to fraudulent activity, hence saving this Government several hundreds of thousands of dollars,” said Newallo-Hosein.

The biometric cards are now ready to be issued to 8,000 people in the country. Based on early feedback, people were generally excited about the biometric smart card, said Newallo-Hosein.

“They are saying it will make collecting the grants easier for them,” she said.

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