The South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) has announced that South African social grant beneficiaries can continue using their expired SASSA cards until December 31, 2023. This extension provides additional time for cardholders to replace their old cards while still accessing grant payments.
Why Did SASSA Cards Have an Expiry Date?
The previous SASSA/Postbank Gold Cards that were issued to grant beneficiaries were embedded with a printed expiration date of March 31, 2023.
This aligned with a requirement set by the South African Reserve Bank (SARB) for all local banks to transition from old magnetic stripe card technology to more secure EMV chip and PIN cards by the end of 2023.
The magnetic stripe cards that were previously used are now considered less secure, as the plain card data encoded on the magnetic stripe can more easily be stolen through skimming or cloning. This exposes beneficiaries to potential fraud and unauthorized use of their card and grant funds.
The new EMV chip cards are more secure, as the cardholder data is encrypted and stored on a microchip rather than static magnetic stripe. This makes the cards far more difficult to counterfeit or clone. The chip technology combined with the PIN requirement enhances protection of beneficiaries’ personal and financial data.
What is the Process for Receiving a New SASSA Payment Card?
SASSA is still in the process of rolling out the new, more secure Postbank-issued social grant payment cards to replace the old SASSA/Postbank Gold Cards.
Eligible social grant beneficiaries will receive an SMS notification informing them when their new Postbank card is ready, and where and when they can collect it.
The new cards are being distributed in phases, so beneficiaries should wait for this notification before taking any action. Do not destroy your expired card, as it can still be used in the interim.
What Should I Do If My SASSA Card is Lost, Stolen or Damaged?
If your SASSA card is ever lost, stolen, or physically damaged and no longer usable, it is crucial that you report this to SASSA immediately to prevent unauthorized use and access to your grant funds.
There are two ways to report a lost, stolen or damaged card:
- Call the SASSA national toll-free number at 0800 60 10 11. This number can be used to report a card issue or any other SASSA-related concern.
- Visit or contact your nearest SASSA regional office. Local SASSA offices can provide personalized service and assistance.
Once a card is reported as lost, stolen or damaged, SASSA will promptly issue a replacement card. While waiting for the new card to arrive, you can continue using your old, expired SASSA card to withdraw funds from ATMs, make purchases at retailers, and collect grant payments from cash pay points and South African Post Office branches.
Tips for Safely Using an Expired SASSA Card
When utilizing an expired SASSA card prior to receiving your new payment card, keep the following tips in mind:
- Carry additional official ID, as you may need to provide this to confirm your identity if asked by merchants, retailers or SAPO tellers.
- Be aware that some smaller merchants may decline expired cards, so check ahead of time if possible to avoid issues.
- Expect to potentially pay higher ATM withdrawal fees when using an expired card.
- Shield your PIN from view and be vigilant of card skimmers at ATMs and POS terminals. Criminals target SASSA cards.
- Frequently check your account for any unauthorized or suspicious transactions and report these to SASSA immediately.
- Never share your card’s PIN or card number with anyone, including SASSA officials. Your PIN must remain secret.
- Keep your SASSA card safe when not in use and avoid exposing it unnecessarily.
Being cautious and vigilant with an expired SASSA card will help protect against issues until your new chip and PIN card arrives. Promptly report any problems to SASSA for resolution.
In summary, South African social grant beneficiaries can continue utilizing SASSA cards past the original March 2023 printed expiry through December 31, 2023. This provides an extended transition period as SASSA rolls out the more secure chip-enabled payment cards. Be diligent against fraud, safeguard your PIN, and immediately report lost or stolen cards to avoid unauthorized use during this time.
Hello, I’m Dumisani Joubert, a passionate writer and advocate based in South Africa. With a deep commitment to providing accessible information, my website serves as a reliable resource for all things related to SASSA grants, offering valuable insights and guidance to empower individuals and communities.