Case Study

The Future of G2P Payments: Expanding Customer Choice in Zambia

Documenting the process of developing an innovative, choice-based digital payments system
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This case study is a supplement to the CGAP Blog, "A New Generation of Government-to-Person Payments Is Emerging"​​​​​(October 2019).

The Zambian Ministry of Community Development and Social Services (MCDSS) is taking a novel approach to a new government-to-person (G2P) payment system launched two years ago. Participants in its Support to Women’s Livelihoods (SWL) initiative can decide for themselves at which provider and into what kind of account they want to receive their social protection grant. MCDSS launched this effort in late 2016, and by the end of 2017 the first round of payments was transferred into commercial bank accounts, mobile wallets, ATM cards and post office accounts. Two years on, at the end of 2018, 12,748 women have been enrolled and 12,084 received their grant payments through the new multi-provider payment system.

Most government transfers in Zambia are made through traditional cash distribution systems. From its onset, MCDSS recognized the logistical challenges of continuing with this familiar approach and saw the added benefits for a largely financially excluded population of transitioning to a digital transfer system. This case study documents what drove MCDSS to develop an innovative, choice-based digital payments system and how this new multi-provider payments model has worked in practice.


This work was funded in whole or in part by CGAP. Unlike CGAP's official publications, it has not been peer reviewed or edited by CGAP, and any conclusions or viewpoints expressed are those of the authors, and they may or may not reflect the views of CGAP staff.

About this Publication

By Silvia Baur-Yazbeck, Craig Kilfoil and Ioana Botea