BELIZE CITY, Belize. Tues. June 1, 2021– The Social Security Board (SSB) has announced that they will be hosting a series of activities to engage the public in the month of June in commemoration of their 40th anniversary. One initiative that they have launched this month to provide ease of access to their customers is their new online portal, through which SSB customers can create and access their account using any mobile device. The portal has been in the works for a few years.
During a media mixer held by the SSB on Monday, the SSB General Manager for Corporate Customer Service, Chandra Nisbet Cansino, stated that creating an account is as simple as “creating a Facebook account” and merely requires users to go to the SSB website and enter their basic information and biodata. Each account is authenticated with a barcode sent directly to the provided email address used to open the account. Persons seeking to renew or replace their Social Security card can now schedule their appointments through this platform to reduce the amount of traffic at the main offices. The portal is also live so that persons who need to update their contact information, banking information and other personal information can do so online, after which the changes will be immediately reflected in their account.
Cansino also mentioned that they worked with local banking and financial institutions to waive starter fees associated with opening an account, so that users could join the portal for free, since they realized that many users might not have a bank account.
“What we did get was cooperation from the banking institutions, because a lot of persons, believe it or not, don’t have bank accounts, so in order to access the service you need to open the bank account and many persons don’t even have the amount that you would need to put the minimum amount, you know. Some banks need like 100 to open an account, but we got the cooperation from the banks to waiver those minimum requirements so the persons were able to open the bank accounts with nothing and start from there. That was the main challenge. There is still people up to now who do not have bank accounts, and we would have provided support in that area. But the access to the service, it hasn’t been a challenge for the rural communities, because again the challenge for them might be the fact that they may not have a bank account to start it , and so we have the support of the institution countrywide to be able to waive that requirement,” said Cansino.
Notably, the launch of the portal system is only in its first stage of development, and thus only card renewal/replacement appointment services are available through the portal at this time. In the upcoming months, the SSB hopes to extend the services to contribution history details and claiming services.