More than 170 million poor people worldwide receive regular payments from their governments, but the potential to use these payments to increase financial inclusion is largely untapped, according to "Banking the Poor via G2P Payments," a new Focus Note from CGAP and the U.K.’s Department for International Development (DFID).
Pioneering programs in Brazil, India, Mexico, and South Africa are providing financial services, such as savings accounts and electronic money transfers, to poor recipients of government transfers. But the Focus Note finds that worldwide fewer than one-quarter of government-to-person (G2P) payments to the poor land in a financially inclusive account—i.e., one that enables recipients to store funds, make or receive payments from other people in the financial system, and is accessible, in terms of cost and distance.
Some of us will remember that years ago in the US, it was G2P payments (for Social Security, etc.) that helped jump start the ACH system and helped make receiving funds via ACH nearly ubiquitous with banks.