Many low-income country governments have begun to digitize government-to-person (G2P) payments by making electronic transfers directly into the accounts of individual customers. While digitization has helped to fill the gaps in delivery, further advances are needed. Building modern payments systems can:
- Improve the customer experience by allowing customers to choose which providers and accounts they use to receive funds; they have a wider array of service points from which to withdraw cash; and they can switch providers.
- Lower delivery costs for governments and reduce leakage.
- Introduce incentives to provide good service for financial service providers who must compete for customer business.
This Focus Note explores the core idea behind future-ready G2P payments, lays out its advantages and challenges, and describes how governments can create modern G2P payments systems. It draws heavily from ongoing efforts in Bangladesh, India, Kenya, Tanzania and Zambia.
This case study examines how the Inua Jamii program, a program of the Ministry of Labour and Social Protection, gradually introduced payments digitization, then choice to design a program that has successfully scaled to reach the most vulnerable groups in Kenya.
Access to Information (A2i) saw that more benefits could be gained if government programs shared and used a unified government payments platform that would consolidate and simplify delivery for both government programs and their citizens.
This case study documents what drove the Zambian Ministry of Community Development and Social Services to develop an innovative, choice-based digital payments system and how this new multi-provider payments model has worked in practice.