Transfers & Subsidies

Government transfers and subsidies should not be expensive to deliver. The following stories illustrate how governments can use Lichen to dramatically reduce the cost and administrative burden of financial assistance to individuals, households and businesses.

Simpler Food Stamps:
Once it’s launched, Lichen could by used by social-assistance agencies to reduce complications and enhance the targeting of financial help to people in need.

Frank realized he would be dependent upon food stamps for the next few months. He signed up for the digital benefits option, which operates through Lichen to eliminate the administrative reporting burden. When buying online or in a store, he confirms his identity, and then any items that come under the Standard Product and Services Classification (SPSC) Code 50000000 (food & beverages, excluding 50210000 tobacco & smoking products and 50202200 alcohol beverages) cause his food stamps subsidy to be immediately activated from the government’s account to the registered vendor’s account. At the same time, this amount is passed along in full to Frank, as direct price discounts on each of the eligible products. As it operates through simultaneous direct payments to registered vendors, this state-run food stamp program functions congruently for any of Frank’s out-of-state online or in-store purchases of food. It makes sense for the state to accept equivalent registration in the program by out-of-state vendors, so that low-income recipients of social-assistance are at liberty to manage their spending as cost effectively as possible.

Business Start-Up Assistance:
Once it’s launched, Lichen could be used by business-support program managers to help start–ups without the downturn caused by additional administration.

As soon as Angelique qualified for the municipality’s Business Start-Up Assistance Program, 60 per cent of any purchases she made under her business identity through Lichen, for goods and services related to the following eight Standard Product and Service (SPSC) codes, were automatically reimbursed to her account by the program at the end of each month, up to a total of $10,000. She was not required to submit any claim form.

  • 44000000—Office equipment and accessories and supplies
  • 44120000—Office supplies
  • 56111500—Workstations and office packages
  • 72154066—General office equipment maintenance
  • 80161800—Office equipment rental or leasing services
  • 81112103—World wide web WWW site design services
  • 81112105—World wide web WWW site operation host services
  • 82140000—Graphic design

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