Assoc Prof Jamus Jerome Lim asked the Minister for Social and Family Development (a) whether the effort to implement digital disbursements to replace cash and supermarket vouchers at the Social Services Offices (SSOs) is hindered by low-income grantees who have no access to banking services; and (b) whether special bank accounts may be created for SSO recipients not currently in possession of a bank account in order to receive these disbursements.
Mr Masagos Zulkifli B M M: Social Service Offices (SSOs) use cash and supermarket vouchers in dispensing interim financial assistance today. We have announced plans to transit to digital disbursements and are exploring transfers to client’s bank accounts.
Today, banks already help SSO clients open accounts without a minimum deposit or fall-below fee1. We will continue to encourage clients to open accounts if they do not have one, as it is beneficial to them to not be excluded from access to financial services.
Ministry of Social and Family Development
2 August 2022