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LEARNING SERIES >> Government-to-Person Payments as a Cornerstone for Financial Inclusion during COVID-19

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Lessons from Colombia and India

Ensuring that government-to-person payments reach beneficiaries safely has been a priority during the COVID-19 pandemic. In response, 222 countries or territories instituted 3,333 social protection measures between March 20, 2020, and May 14, 2021. 1 Many of them were social assistance payments that reached over 1.5 billion people.2

The scale of social protection programs in terms of government spending and the number of people assisted has been unprecedented during COVID-19.

The Better Than Cash Alliance Secretariat works with members to promote responsible practices and to mitigate risks related to exclusion, speed of payments, solving grievances as they arise, and convening governments, providers, fintech and other stakeholder to drive responsible G2P payments as an effective safety net.

The G2PX initiative of the World Bank and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is aiming for broader inclusion and empowerment outcomes in G2P digitization.

In these two blogs, the Alliance highlights lessons from two of its members - Colombia and India - in the design and execution of inclusive G2P transfers. Keeping our focus on prioritizing women, the first blog reflects on integrating UN Principles for Responsible Digital Payments in designing user centric G2P programs, and the second focuses on collaboration between the public and private sector.


  1. Gentilini, Ugo; Almenfi, Mohamed; Orton, Ian; Dale, Pamela. 2020. Social Protection and Jobs Responses to COVID-19: A Real-Time Review of Country Measures. World Bank, Washington, DC. © World Bank. https://openknowledge.worldbank.org/handle/10986/33635 License: CC BY 3.0 IGO.
  2. Based on live data on global COVID-19-related social protection responses, including social assistance payments. https://blogs.worldbank.org/developmenttalk/game-changer-social-protection-six-reflections-covid-19-and-future-cash-transfers

Read the learning series overview