26 September 2023
Over 10 000 unemployment benefit forms dispensed at ATMs in an industry first.
Drawing on a deep commitment to delivering customer and digital-first solutions that are relevant to the everyday needs of communities, Absa, and the Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) have partnered to provide pre-populated UIF UI-2.8 unemployment forms at Absa ATMs, combined with bank confirmation letters, as required in new UIF applications.
The capability is a significant step for the reduction of commuting and time costs for customers who are unemployed – it simplifies the administrative pressures which involves queuing at a bank branch and in a Labour Centre before unemployment benefits can be paid into their bank account. With the innovation, Absa customers can now obtain the application form from Absa ATMs, 24/7.
Over 10 000 UI-2.8 application forms have been dispensed from Absa ATMs since the beginning of 2023.
“Absa is delighted to be partnering with the UIF as we leverage our capabilities for the greater benefit of our communities. Aligned to our purpose of empowering Africa’s tomorrow, together…one story at a time, this solution was guided by our deep commitment to be a Force for Good in all we do. Importantly, simplifying the process for customers to claim unemployment funds in a dignified manner was also a critical consideration,” said Tshiwela Mhlantla, Managing Executive: Physical Channels, Absa Everyday Banking.
UIF Commissioner, Teboho Maruping, has expressed excitement at the partnership and innovative move to further expedite UIF applications, as well as save time and transport costs for clients.
“The UIF has taken bold steps to make claiming benefits easier and faster, by among other things leveraging on technology and formulating strategic partnerships with the private sector. We have installed free Wi-Fi at all Labour Centres around the country and our mobile buses continue to bring services to clients, especially those in rural and remote areas. Three weeks ago, we launched a free Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD) and Mobile Application (APP) for clients to access UIF services from the comfort of their homes to ensure an improved service offering and customer experience. The automated service offered by Absa Bank provides impetus to our Ufiling online system. We believe this partnership with Absa Bank is a much-needed force multiplier that will further enhance these measures, and that will contribute positively towards the attainment of the National Development Plan (NDP) goals,” said Maruping.
Mhlantla said, “Furthermore, in consideration of the environment, ATMs are configured to provide customers with the option to email the form to themselves. In the absence of email facilities, customers can alternatively select to print the form at the ATM. The service is available at no charge to Absa accountholders.”
Absa has undertaken the extraordinary step of reconfiguring its ATM printing capability to comply with official UIF form standards while supporting normal ATM banking requirements.
“Further to this, in line with our strategic intent as a digital bank with an empathetic frontline, we are reimagining our ATMs as an extension of our physical touchpoints aligned to a broader branch optimisation strategy with enhanced innovation to service our customer’s multi-dimensional needs. This initiative with the UIF further releases capacity in Absa branches to assist with transactions such as, for example, onboarding of customers with new Absa accounts in support of SASSA payments,” said Mhlantla.