Social Cash Transfer Payment Systems in sub-Saharan Africa

Social cash transfers to vulnerable households and individuals have been adopted at an unprecedented scale across sub-Saharan Africa. While most programs initially relied on manual cash disbursements, digital payment technologies have been on the rise since the early 2000s. Through a survey of 130 programs in 44 countries this paper offers a comprehensive overview of payment instruments and providers used in the region. Although cash continues to play a key role in the disbursement of social transfers, the adoption of electronic payments through private companies is increasing and further payment reforms and digitization efforts can be expected.

Responding to crisis with digital payments for social protection: Short-term measures with long-term benefits

Government-to-person (G2P) payments have never been more important, as governments worldwide seek for ways to respond to the economic and social consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic. The challenge of making these massive payouts to the poor and informal sector workers is highlighting the differences between the G2P payment ecosystems across countries.