More than 34,000 members of the state-run Social Security System (SSS) may now withdraw through automated teller machines (ATM) their social security benefits and loans using their Unified Multi-purpose Identification (UMID) cards.
SSS President and Chief Executive Officer Emmanuel F. Dooc said the rollout of the program will make disbursements easier for member benefits such as disability; retirement; self-employed and voluntary; sickness and maternity claims; and member privileges like salary and calamity loans.
“Doing direct transfer of funds for loans and benefit proceeds to the UMID card ATM accounts is safer and faster. It will eliminate the cost of printing and mailing of checks, as well as delay in the delivery of service due to postage time and lost checks. As soon as the loan is approved by SSS, it will only take at least 24 hours for our members to withdraw it from their bank accounts”, said Dooc.
Several banks had been invited to the UMID-ATM program since November 2013. To date, SSS has signed agreements to implement the program with four banks. UnionBank of the Philippines (UBP), one of the accredited banks, was the first to complete the program and started deploying kiosks in three SSS branch offices last year.
At present, UBP kiosks where UMID cards can be activated, are in seven SSS branches — Baguio, Diliman, Manila, Buendia, Cebu, Pioneer and Davao. Additional UBP kiosks will be available in nine other SSS branches by yearend.
“SSS members with UMID cards should activate their cards through these UBP kiosks in our selected branches,” Dooc said. The UMID card is the only required identification for ATM activation.
To date, there are about 34,000 UBP co-branded UMID cards with ATM functionality.
Dooc also reminded members that the ATM-enabled UMID card is free of charge. “Members may directly withdraw their benefit and loan proceeds from Bancnet ATMs nationwide and VISA-branded ATMs for international transactions.”
UBP, in a statement, said that the UMID-ATM program does not only benefit SSS members but also the pension fund due to elimination of costs and manual processing since there is no more need to prepare checks to disburse funds to their members.
“Our members should not worry that the UMID-ATM program is only available for one bank now. We are working with other banks, starting with the three partner banks, as well as other banks that were invited to join the program.” Dooc said.
He also said that this program will facilitate the immediate and safe release of loan and benefit proceeds and reduce the number of SSS members who queue in SSS and bank branches just to pick up or encash checks for loans and benefits.