Germany’s Cabinet has agreed to new nationwide regulations allowing states to use a payment card to supply social welfare benefits to asylum seekers, sources told dpa on Friday.

Leaders of Germany’s federal states had already agreed to implement the card in an effort to prevent asylum seekers in Germany from transferring money back home or using cash assistance to pay smugglers.

But state leaders lobbied Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s government to institute new regulations backing the use of payment cards, in hopes that the move would prevent lawsuits.

The payment card will now to be explicitly included as an option under Germany’s Asylum Seekers’ Benefits Act. Sources told dpa that the Cabinet approved draft legislation to that effect from the Ministry of Labour on Friday.

The change will still need to be passed by parliament.

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