Bank Alfalah fails to sign contract with EOBI for pension disbursement
Bureaucratic hurdles and leniency caused three months delay in signing a project by EOBI with Bank Alfalah for the disbursements of the payment which ultimately cost old-aged pensioners every month.
Source in the EOBI said officials are not taking issue on priority basis despite the fact the disbursement of the pension to senior citizens is their mandatory obligation. Pensioners have been facing problems in getting their pension because the existing services being provided by Tameer Microfinance Bank is not satisfactory with lots of complaints by the customers.
Six months ago, the management of EOBI decided to give a contract to a competent bank for pension disbursement. It was floated RFI which was won by Bank Alfalah successfully to provide banking services to EOBI 0.5 million pensioners. EOBI signed a general agreement with Bank Alfalah however the top level meeting and agreement along with signing ceremony is left to seal the deal, which caused unnecessary delay in the process, sources added. The project was to be signed between the two companies in coming weeks which will further take months complete though the deadline is June 2015 and the whole process has already taken one year of the hectic process.
According to the contract, Bank Alfalah will issue ATM cards and open basic banking accounts of the pensioners in its designated branches to facilitate beneficiaries in drawing their pensions.
Bank Alfalah is one of the specialist commercial bank with diversified expertise of carrying out mass payment disbursement. It has been providing services to thousands of beneficiaries of Benazir Income Support Fund since 2010. It also conducted services to mass payment disbursement to affectees of flood in 2012 and 2012 under the project of Citizen's Damage Compensation and Watan Card.
EOBI has registered 0.503 million across the country. Among them 0.37 million draw pensions as old-age beneficiaries, 0.156 as survivals (relatives of deceased employees) and 80 thousands are those individuals who got injured at work.
The minimum pension of a beneficiary is set at Rs 5,250 whereas it varies at maximum level depending on the contribution of the employees and employers which usually high at big corporations.
The access of the EOBI accounts is lucrative for a banking company to get good account of a client along with service charges. Besides, it enhances the scope of business of the company through offering various products to a big customers' base in accordance with their needs.
Bank Alfalah is likely to execute pension disbursement service through branches network of conventional, Islamic and branchless banking.
The bank partnered with its sister organization Warid LTE with its branchless banking Mobile Paisa having retail outlets of more than 2000 places. Bank Alfalah is spreading its wings in diversified sectors from agriculture to SMEs, from Islamic to Branchless banking. It contained the largest customers' base using credit card in Pakistan.