Donors and governments around the world recognize the power of government-to-person (G2P) payments to address poverty and benefit women. A growing number of innovations show how to make payments delivery more valuable with improvements from biometrics, form factors, delivery channels (agents/ATMs) and means of communication.
While many improvements matter, we hold that the most valuable innovation is in delivery systems that empower women to choose how to receive their cash. G2P programs often reach millions of people and have the potential to stimulate private providers to competitively extend services further. However, most often governments require beneficiaries to use a single G2P solution. A better approach is when governments stimulate a marketplace of many competing solutions. What if they enabled women to select what works best for them from among several solutions and to reward high-quality service providers with their business?
Emerging evidence (and common sense) gives us reason to be optimistic that when women can choose where, when and how to receive their funds, their gains are amplified. Women know what they need from G2P payments, and policy makers can make dramatic strides to meet those needs. As countries like India, Kenya, Zambia and others demonstrate, the pathway ahead is ever more clear: let her choose.