In addition to raising awareness, the Better Than Cash Alliance accelerates the transition for governments, the development community and the private sector by developing cutting-edge research products, best practices case studies and reports in order to achieve scale globally.
Gates Foundation Study Finds Digital Payments Can Produce 90 Percent Cost Reductions and Better for Poor
The global marketplace for financial services is failing the poor in the developing world, but could be improved to benefit both the poor and financial providers, according to a new study released by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Fighting Poverty, Profitably: Transforming the economics of payments to build sustainable, inclusive financial systems.
World Bank Survey Identifies Most Common Emerging Market Inefficiency is Cash
A World Bank Payment Systems Development Group survey found that the most common inefficiency in emerging market countries is that cash is still widely used for small-value payments. As part of the effort, the Group recently released a comprehensive package for the development and reform of a national retail payments system. More information »
This report offers insights on women’s needs for financial management tools and use of mobile financial services in Indonesia, Kenya, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea and Tanzania. It also contains implications for action for mobile financial service providers in any emerging market. More information »
A study by Moody’s Analytics that looked at the impact of increased card penetration on the private consumption of 56 countries over five years. More information »
Incentives for the Introduction of Agents by Banca de las Oportunidades in Colombia
A CGAP report analyzing the agent incentive scheme introduced in Colombia in conjunction with the payment of social cash transfers. More information »
An Overview of the G2P Payments Sector in Pakistan
A CGAP report on government to people payments in Pakistan.More information »
The Journey Toward ‘Cash Lite’ : Addressing Poverty, Saving Money and Increasing Transparency by Accelerating the Shift to Electronic Payments.
- Examines the three shifts to electronic
- Aggregates the findings of a range of studies about the benefits of electronic payment adoption;
- Identifies barriers that need to be addressed in order to achieve a shift toward “cash lite”; and
- Concludes with a guide for governments, private sector businesses (as users of e-payments rather than as providers) and development organizations that wish to accelerate the shift to electronic payments.
See our latest case studies for:
Better Than Cash Alliance Case studies
Focusing on individual countries in each case study, the Better Than Cash Alliance Case Study Series highlights specific examples of shifts to electronic payments by government agencies, businesses or development partners. Each case study documents the extent of the shift and the factors that have helped or hindered it, in order to provide insights which are relevant to a wide readership interested in how to shift from cash to electronic payments.
E-Payments Deliver 15% Greater Efficiency in Kenya – Is This the Future of Food Aid?
Learn how the World Food Programme (WFP) transitioned its program in Kenya from food aid delivery to e-payments, and how it found this to be 15 percent more cost efficient. The study looks at how development organizations or government programs can increase the efficiency and scale of transfers, while also forming the building blocks for financial inclusion. This is one in aseries of case studies that was made possible by a grant from the Government of the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DFID) to the Consultative Group to Assist the Poor (CGAP) in support of the work of the Better Than Cash Alliance.
“Ti Manman Cheri” Experiments with Mobile
Government-to-Person (G2P) Payments in Haiti
The “Ti Manman Cheri” (TMC) initiative highlights the complexities of linking mobile money with social cash transfers in a context that is insecure, and has underdeveloped infrastructure. TMC provides lessons for others looking to implement mobile money G2P programs. TMC overcame obstacles – such as mobile and agent network inadequacies, shifting government priorities and a lack of a central identification system – to pay 23,000 of its 75,000 recipients via mobile money accounts after only one year. This is one in a series of case studiesthat was made possible by a grant from the Government of the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DFID) to the Consultative Group to Assist the Poor (CGAP) in support of the work of the Better Than Cash Alliance.
Electronic Payments within a Limited Financial Infrastructure: Uganda’s Search for a Viable E-payments Solution to deliver Social Assistance Grants for Empowerment (SAGE)
Reaching nearly 100,000 of Uganda’s senior and vulnerable citizens, Social Assistance Grants for Empowerment (SAGE) has demonstrated the need for tenacity and flexibility as it works to create a transparent and efficient social protection system in a country with limited payment infrastructure that is prone to a lack of transparency and leakage. This is one in aseries of case studies that was made possible by a grant from the Government of the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DFID) to the Consultative Group to Assist the Poor (CGAP) in support of the work of the Better Than Cash Alliance.
Striving for G2P E-payments at Scale: The Evolution of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program in The Philippines
As part of a national conditional cash transfer (CCT) program, the Government of the Philippines used account-linked cards provided by Land Bank of the Philippines (LBP) to invest in the health and education of poor households through its Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps). As of August 2013, electronic payments reached over 40 percent of the 3.9 million poorest households across all 17 regions of the 2,000-island nation. This is one in a series of case studies that was made possible by a grant from the Government of the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DFID) to the Consultative Group to Assist the Poor (CGAP) in support of the work of the Better Than Cash Alliance.
Sustained Effort, Saving Billions: Lessons from the Mexican Government’s Shift to Electronic Payments
Thanks to a concerted and well-planned shift to electronic distribution of many government payrolls, pensions and social benefits, the Government of Mexico is saving a significant amount of funds. In the first of the The Better Than Cash Alliance Case Study Series to be released, researchers identify the many billions that are estimated to be saved by the Mexican government each year. It also provides key lessons for other governments that are undergoing similar efforts around the world.
Please visit the The Better Than Cash Alliance Case Study Series page for versions in French and Spanish.
Government Case Studies
Case Studies on Lessons Learned from
Aadhaar Enabled Direct Benefits Transfer
The hugely ambitious, policy initiative of transferring the vast majority of central and state government benefits, entitlements and subsidies, as e-money, directly into the UIDAI Aadhaar linked accounts of the eligible beneficiaries was announced by the Prime Minister of India on the 26th of November 2012 at the first meeting of the National Committee on Direct Transfers. Given the scope and scale of work involved and the rudimentary state of the agent network, and indeed the technology infrastructure needed, to make G2P happen in India, the work being contemplated is truly massive. MicroSave case studies on barriers and best practices in some of the UIDAI demonstration districts show that front-end processes are usually manual (even where technology could be effectively employed).
Bansefi Visa Debit and Prepaid
Cards Create “Oportunidades” for Mexico ’s Financially Underserved
The largest social program in Mexico, Oportunidades, distributes benefits to 6.5 million people. The government-owned Bank of National Savings and Financial Services (Bansefi) was looking for a more efficient way to distribute aid and help its country’s citizens. In 2008, Bansefi partnered with Visa to issue benefits on Visa debit and prepaid cards, giving the recipients convenience and security, as well as opportunities to use financial services to save, budget and improve their lives.
Website and video
Beneficiary Perceptions and
Attitudes in Fiji: Facilitating Migration from Paper-based to Electronic Benefit Distribution
This study exams the real and perceived constraints social welfare beneficiaries and low income households face in using formal banking services. The study was done to inform the government of Fiji, UNCDF and the private sector in preperation to transition goverment payments from cash to electronic form.
Buckinghamshire County Council:
Prepaid card delivers social benefits for children and young people in care
The study looks at how the Buckinghamshire County Council have provided children and young people with improved access to leisure and positive activities.
Building a Mobile Money Distribution
Network in Papua New Guinea
The report looks at the opportunity to build a nation-wide electronic money network in PNG, where 90% of the population was unbanked. It highlights the cost and opportunities to public and private sector actors to switch to electronic payments paired with an agent network.
Designing e-money Products
that meet Customers’ Needs
The presentation presents the result of a nationwide survey on e-money usage and presents suggestions on how to better address client needs and increase customer usage of electronic money services.
G2P: Expanding Financial Inclusion in the Pacific Report
This case study examines the transition of 25,000 social welfare beneficiares to electronic payments: how the decision was made; how donors, government and private sector cooperated; the steps that were taken; and the early benefits of the transition.
Kenya Case Studies in e-Payments
This document describes four case studies on the use of mobile money in Kenya, covering use by a government ministry (The Ministry of Lands), an NGO implementing partner of USAID (PACT), a governmental non-‐profit institution (Kenya National Examinations Council), and a small microfinance institution that provides financing and technical advisory services (Juhudi Kilimo).
London Borough of Lewisham:
Care leavers receive allowance via prepaid card
The London Borough of Lewisham is an inner-city district serving over 248,000 people.
When young people who have been placed in the Borough’s care leave it at the age of 18, they receive a weekly allowance to help them continue in education or seek employment.
Previously, recipients had to visit the borough council offices on a weekly basis to collect their allowance in cash. This created potential risks of theft or loss for both council staff and recipients, while also requiring a complex cash management process.
State of Maryland: Significant
savings and improved convenience with electronic payments
The State of Maryland needed a faster, more reliable and more cost effective way of making unemployment benefit payments to citizens who depended on them.
The State’s original process was proving cumbersome and costly, with large sums spent on check printing, administration and delivery. There were further concerns related to equipment breakdowns and the security and re-issuance of checks.
The Solidaridad Visa Prepaid
Card Brings Relief to Dominican Citizens in Need
Millions of people in the Dominican Republic struggle with poverty and hunger. In the past, distributing food, fuel and medicine was slow, expensive and often didn’t reach the intended recipients. Partnering with Visa and local financial institutions, the Social Subsidies Administration (ADESS) began distributing benefits on a reloadable Visa card as part of the Solidaridad program, getting citizens the support they need, quickly, reliably and efficiently.
Visa Streamlines Distribution
of Child Support Payments in Nebraska
Distributing benefits, such as child support, unemployment and disability assistance, has been transformed by the use of prepaid cards. Instead of mailing paper checks, 40 states now use Visa prepaid cards, cutting costs and getting aid to people quickly and securely. States like Nebraska, who have partnered with Visa and U.S. Bank, are saving taxpayers’ money and ensuring that recipients, like single mother Nichole Bouwens, can access their benefits conveniently.
Website and video
Private Sector Case Studies
fizyczneg I sportu w Gdańsk (AWFiS Gdańsk)
Innovative service improves efficiency and convenience in the education sector.
Impact of Electronic Payments
on Economic Growth
This study looked at the impact of increased card penetration on consumption in 51 countries over six years.
Payment Cards and Economic
Growth: The Positive Economic Impact of Digital Currency
Moody’s Economy.com recently completed a study to measure the economic impact of the shift from cash and checks to digital currency in 51 economies worldwide.
Payment Systems Worldwide:
presents the results of the second survey among national central banks that collected information on the status of national payment and securities settlement systems worldwide.
World Bank Presents Outcomes
of the Global Payment Systems Survey 2010
The underlying foundation of a country’s financial system – including all institutions, information, technologies, rules and standards that enable financial intermediation – is its “financial infrastructure.” A poor financial infrastructure imposes a considerable constraint upon financial institutions in many developing countries, hindering their efforts to offer financial services to underserved segments of the population and the economy.
Visa Delivers the Benefits
of Electronic Payments to the Trucking Industry in Brazil
In Brazil, the trucking industry has relied on a paper-based “freight letter” system for paying truck drivers’ salaries. Aside from operational inefficiencies, this method subjected cargo companies and the drivers to theft and loss and inconvenience and high transaction fees for the drivers. This changed in 2009 when Visa developed a multi-functional card for truck drivers that allows them to store their salary; pay for fuel, road tolls, and repairs anywhere Visa is accepted; and to remit money to family members at home.
Website and video
Visa Empowers Employees and
Businesses with Payroll Cards
Tractor Supply Company, founded in Chicago in 1938, has grown to become the largest retail farm and ranch store chain in the United States, operating more than 1,000 retail stores in 44 states, and employing more than 15,000 team members. In 2000, Tractor Supply introduced a Visa Prepaid payroll card in an effort to improve its payroll processes and empower its employees with a more secure and convenient form of payment.
Development Community Case Studies
Reactions and Potential Improvements
This Microsave report examines initial market perceptions to M-Shwari, a mobile banking service that allows M-PESA customers to borrow money and apply for emergency loans directly through their phone.
Banking with mobile phones
in Haiti: A report on a T-cash pilot program
This report describes the experience of Catholic Relief Services Haiti in employing a new mobile phone–based banking service, T-Cash. This service was adopted on a pilot basis to improve CRS’ Cash for Work (CfW) payment system in the Port-au-Prince area. The CfW program ended in late 2011.
New Technologies in Cash Transfer
Programming and Humanitarian Assistance
The research examines the constraints to the uptake of these technologies in humanitarian programming, and
has identified barriers to wider adoption of new technology that can be broadly grouped under seven themes:
technological, financial, institutional, operational, attitudinal, political and legislative.
for Migration: relocation grants paid remotely worldwide with prepaid cards
The UK’s International Organization for Migration (IOM) operates voluntary return programs for asylum seekers and irregular migrants. The organization has traditionally paid grants in cash, a costly and risky method that makes reconciliation difficult. IOM therefore sought a low cost, automated way of making more secure payments.
Plugging into Mobile Money
Platforms: Early Experiences of NGOs in the Field
This focus note reviews early lessons for NGOs from the field. It explores three central questions: Does initial evidence support the notion that mobile money is a cheaper, faster, and more secure distribution platform? What aspects of program design most impact the costs and benefits of mobile money? And what have NGO early adopters learned from their experience in Haiti?
Visa Debit Opens Doors to
India is one of the world’s most populated countries, with more than a billion people living there. But today millions do not have access to formal financial services. Visa is working with its partners to give millions of people in India fast, secure and convenient access to their money with debit cards.
Website and video
Zap It to Me: The Short-Term Impacts
of a Mobile Cash Transfer Program
Conditional and unconditional cash transfers have been effective in improving development outcomes in a variety of contexts, yet the costs of these programs to program recipients and implementing agencies are rarely discussed. The introduction of mobile money transfer systems in many developing countries offers new opportunities for a more cost-effective means of implementing cash transfer programs. This paper reports on the first randomized evaluation of a cash transfer program delivered via the mobile phone.
Investing In Girls: Opportunities
for Innovation in Girl-Centered Cash Transfers
Investing in adolescent girls is important for addressing inequality and is critical for the realization of their rights, but it can also pay enormous economic dividends. Mounting evidence shows that investments in adolescent girls and young women may prove to be an even more effective way of ending intergenerational poverty than programs targeting children generally.
Digital Cash makes for sweet
Coca Farmers in Indonesia currently use cash to conduct all business transactions, with only a few possessing actual bank accounts. This is not necessarily their preferred way of managing finances, as research shows farmers are receptive to the idea of mobile money and the financial inclusion it would provide. With mobile financial services it will be easier for them to build credit for loans and save money for their future.