Testing the Waters: Applications of Digital Payments in Water and Sanitation


21 March 2019 9:00 am - 10:00 am EDT
This event has concluded.

By signing on to Sustainable Development Goal 6, the countries of the world have committed to achieving universal access to water and sanitation by 2030. But today, if current trends persist, we will fail. A revolution is needed in the way we govern, finance, deliver and financially manage water supply and sanitation (WSS). Digital payments have an important role to play in that revolution, but their potential is only beginning to be tapped.

In 2018, GSMA and CGAP partnered to explore the current state of digital payments in water and sanitation. We found evidence that digital payments are enabling improved business models, delivering cost savings and providing much needed transparency, but only for a select group of organizations. Barriers need to be overcome, both internal and external, for more WSS providers to digitize payments and leverage digital data trails. The promise is there, but achieving it will require coordination and innovation among WSS providers, payment operators and public funders.

In this webinar, CGAP and GSMA explored the benefits of digital payments for the WSS sector and how they can achieve their full potential. Presenters summarized findings from "Testing the Waters: The Application of Digital Payments in Water and Sanitation," a CGAP and GSMA paper based on research with 25 organizations in the water and sanitation sectors around the world. Guest experts from the World Bank and Wonderkid Multimedia, a performance-enhancing software firm with expertise in water and sanitation, discussed the implications of the findings.

Event Resources

Webinar presentation >>

Related publication: Testing the Waters: Digital Payments for Water and Sanitation >>


Daniel Waldron

Daniel Waldron | Financial Sector Specialist | CGAP

Daniel leads CGAP's work on access to energy and safe water. Before joining CGAP, he worked as a research analyst for Petrides & Co., an energy investment bank. Other highlights include serving as a research and data analyst for Better Than Cash Alliance and ongoing work for BFA and Mastercard Foundation on the Financial Inclusion on Business Runways (FIBR) initiative. He also served for two years as an environmental volunteer for Peace Corps Tanzania.

Akanksha Sharma

Akanksha Sharma | Senior Insights Manager - GSMA Mobile for Development Utilities Program | GSMA

Akanksha works as a senior insights manager with GSMA Mobile for Development Utilities Programme, leading their research and advisory work in mobile-enabled energy, water and sanitation. Akanksha has been with GSMA since 2012 and specializes in the uses of mobile technology for social good. Prior to joining GSMA, Akanksha worked as a Power and Utilities Analyst at GlobalData in India.

Hamila Murunga

Halima Murunga | Head of Business Development | Wonderkid Ltd.

Halima leads the Business Development team at Wonderkid, fostering partnerships with government, development agencies, and key stakeholders. She is a trained environmental auditor, having worked in the environment and information and communication technologies (ICT) space on citizen feedback systems, utility enterprise tools, private sector participation platforms, and governance systems for 11 years. At Wonderkid Multimedia, Halima leads in the identification of innovative and sustainable ICT interventions that will have lasting impact to the transformation of communities and supporting frameworks (e.g., local authority management, utilities, health facilities).

John Ikeda

John Ikeda | Senior Financial Specialist, Water Global Practice | World Bank

John is a senior financial specialist with the World Bank’s Water Global Practice, where his work focuses on investment lending in Africa, as well as private-sector innovation in the water sector. Previously, he served as an Agile Fellow in the CEO’s office, where he helped design and lead a transformational change initiative. Prior to joining the World Bank, John was CEO and co-founder of Bluelight, a social enterprise providing mobile consumer finance to low-income households.