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Digital Payments

Embracing new technology is critical to making humanitarian response – including cash and voucher assistance (CVA) – as effective as possible. But when we integrate new technologies and partnerships into humanitarian assistance, we must ensure that the safety, dignity and preferences of people in crisis always come first.

Digital technology is transforming the way we respond to emergencies. Innovations range from how we identifying people eligible for assistance, to data collection for assessments and monitoring, to communication with crisis-affected communities. Digital payment systems, including mobile devices, electronic vouchers, and cards – when used appropriately – can deliver timelier, more secure, more cost effective, and inclusive assistance. But as the volume of data we collect, store and share about people grows, we must ensure that our data protection systems keep pace and that we understand and mitigate for the risks inherent in new technologies.

Latest

Adaptable and effective: Cash in the face of multi-dimensional crisis

Report

A summary of the learnings and recommendations from an internal and external evaluation of the Emergency Cash-First Response to Drought-Affected Communities in the Southern Provinces of Zimbabwe project which was carried out from August 2015 to May 2017. The external evaluation was carried out by Oxford...

2017

Digital Cash Transfers in Liberia. A case study from Save the Children’s Emergency Food Security Program (2015- 2016)

Report

Through its USAID-funded Emergency Food Security Program, Save the Children was the first organization to implement cash transfers through mobile money at scale in Liberia, where mobile money services are nascent. From liquidity management to incentivizing agents, the challenges, lessons, and...

2017

E-Transfers for Hygiene through Red Rose in Northern Syria

Report

Cash is receiving a lot of attention globally and is currently being scaled-up at the highest level. On the 9th February 2016, the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon launched his report for the World Humanitarian Summit, calling for cash-based programming to be the ‘default method of support for affected...

1 September 2016

Innovative Electronic Cash Transfer Programme for Emergencies. An Oxfam Visa case study in Philippines

Report

On November 8, 2013, super Typhoon Haiyan (local name Yolanda) struck the Philippines, killing more than 6,000 people, and displacing an estimated 4.4 million individuals. Through its cash transfer programme, Oxfam conducted cash for work activities, and provided cash asset recovery to more than...

22 August 2016

Untapped Humanitarian Demand: A Business Case for Expanding Digital Financial Services

Report

The International Rescue Committee, commissioned Strategy Impact Advisors  to build a return on investment (ROI) model to estimate whether or not a business case exists for expanded coverage of digital financial services in crisis-prone areas (Lebanon and the Philippines). This analysis provides...

18 August 2016

Making Electronic Payments Work for Humanitarian Response

Report

The dialogue leading up to the WHS has cast a spotlight on humanitarian cash transfers. Significant global attention has centered on the role of cash transfers in bringing efficiency to the humanitarian system and improving outcomes for crisis-affected populations. U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has...

17 August 2016

Responsible Digital Payments Guidelines

Guidelines and Tools

The focus of the Guidelines is on the common types of digital payments services provided to the financially underserved such as electronic money transaction accounts. For clients to adopt and use digital payments, they need to feel protected from risks such as loss of privacy, exposure to fraud, and...

21 July 2016

Introducing the ELAN Data Starter Kit

Blog Post

Electronic cash transfers (e-transfers) often necessitate the transfer of personal data, some of which is sensitive, between humanitarian and private sector actors, such as financial service providers (FSPs). As use of e-transfers increases, having strong data management and protection practices in place...

14 June 2016

Principles on Public-Private Cooperation in Humanitarian Payments

Guidelines and Tools

E-payments can make the delivery of cash disbursements more secure, cost- effective, faster and more convenient. In the context of humanitarian crises, digital payments offer recipients choice and can help stimulate the local economy. To fully realize the benefits of new technologies and achieve scale,...

2016

Can E-transfers Promote Financial Inclusion in Emergencies: A Case Study from Bangladesh

Report

The Electronic Cash Transfer Learning Action Network (ELAN) launched research to build an evidence base around connecting emergency electronic transfer (e-transfer) recipients with additional financial services. They wanted to learn if, when, and how e-transfers can promote sustained uptake and use...

2016