Case Study: Striving for E-payments at Scale in the Philippines

05 March 2014
From a small CCT pilot in 2007 to a large-scale—and still expanding—government-run program in 2013, 4Ps has both struggled with and adjusted to growing pains.

As the Philippines experienced economic growth in the early 2000s, it still saw a rise in poverty. The Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) is a conditional cash transfer program that aims to provide short-term poverty alleviation for poor households. The program emerged out of the country’s commitment to advancing financial inclusion and the rapid growth in the use of mobile phones.

With the goal of reaching 4.3 million recipients by 2014, 4Ps initially emerged as a small pilot in 2007 aimed at reaching only 6,000 recipients across four municipalities in the Philippines for one year. But then-president of the Philippines Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo mandated its expansion and growth. By the end of 2008, the 4Ps payments grew from 6,000 to 300,000 recipients. As the program grew quickly and in volume and geography, so did the challenges faced in getting payments quickly and efficiently to recipients.

This case study examines the design and implementation of the 4Ps program, explains the experiences of stakeholders and presents lessons learned.