HPS develops Blockchain payments POC for Central Bank of Morocco

The Blockchain proof of concept will function for payments and authenticity of beneficiary

HPS, a payment solutions company located in MENA and Asia anounced in November of 2019 during the Africa Blockchain Summit, that is was working with Bank Al Maghrib, the Central Bank of Morocco on a Proof of Concept for a use case to enhance financial inclusion within Morocco. It focuses on using blockchain to deliver real tangible benefits to Moroccan citizens. Adopted at a national level, the solution allows citizens to access a range of digitalized State Benefits through the mobile phone.

HPS played a pivotal role in designing this initiative with Bank Al-Maghrib using its PowerCARD payments platform. The value of the Blockchain technology was highlighted through the enablement of this use case of financial inclusion. The system is built around 5 simple steps, creation of the State Benefit program, which  the state of Benefit agency (i.e. the government) creates a program and defines the budget allocated to this program, the beneficiaries, the type of product (e.g.: food, school equipment), etc. then comes in Identification of the beneficiaries which is  key to allocate and distribute State Benefits. Data collection needs to be specific, accurate, and must include all supporting documents to uniquely identify the beneficiaries (in this example, Moroccan citizens) and finally Eligibility criteria where as soon as a beneficiary is identified, all the data collected is checked by the State Benefit agency. Then, Blockchain technologies are used to generate a unique identifier (UID) for each beneficiary.

When it reaches the Payment by the beneficiary, the beneficiary then initiates the process by opening an account in one of the payment institutions adopting the Blockchain technology. The payment institution uses Blockchain to check and approve the authenticity of the beneficiary in order to validate the account.

This initiative benefits three main groups: citizens, merchants and governments (see figure below).

PowerCARD enables citizens to access their State Benefits by using HPS technology via their mobile payment application (M-wallet) to directly benefit from the allowance based on their profile. By doing so, the consumer pays only the net amount and the bank settles the amount of the benefit directly to the merchant. This system allows citizens to access State Benefits with utmost discretion and confidentiality. The mobile payment application combined with this initiative allows the instant payment of State Benefits.      

The whole payment experience for the merchant is seamless: the merchant gets paid for the total amount of the purchase by the citizen’s bank (that will retrieve directly the part coming from the State Benefit agency) but more importantly there is no queue at the checkout and no social stigma for the citizen around any component of the transaction.

The solution allows the government to identify which citizens are eligible for State Benefit: it helps reduce fraud as well as the overall cost of the operation – by digitalizing State Benefits, governments gain in efficiency.

In an article published during the Africa Blockchain Summit in Rbaat, Central Bank governor Abdellatif Jouahri stated that fintech was redefining banking services. he then outlined  the two pillars of fintech as developing lower-cost models to reach underserved people and creating conditions for more non-cash payments, particularly between the state and users. Jouahri explained that fintech can help improve financial education and bring about “financial inclusion.” he was quoted as saying “Blockchain is by far the most disruptive technology of this decade.” ve payment solutions company at the forefront of the international payment industry providing payment solutions for issuers, acquirers, card processors, independent sales organisations (ISOs), retailers, and national & regional switches around the world.

PowerCARD is HPS’ comprehensive suite of solutions that covers the entire payment value chain by enabling innovative payments through its omni-channel solution that allows the processing of any transactions coming from any channels initiated by any means-of-payment.
Today PowerCARD is used by more than 400 institutions in over 90 countries. 

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