Rapid Response for Social Payments During COVID-19

Country-specific examples and key takeaways on what governments are doing to enable rapid payments to the unbanked

As countries around the world grapple with the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, governments have turned to supplemental cash transfers as a key policy instrument to offset the loss of income of their citizens.

This policy brief is the second in a series of policy briefs on COVID-19 economic policy responses and their impact on low-income customers. It explores what national governments are doing to enable rapid payments to those without existing accounts. The swift measures governments took to speed up payments to citizens during the pandemic include:

  • Quick identification of eligible recipients.
  • Simplification of customer due diligence for rapid account opening.
  • Greater use of alternative channels such as mobile apps, post offices, and non-bank financial institutions (NBFIs) such as microfinance providers.

Each section of this brief includes country-specific examples and key takeaways. Efforts by 19 countries to facilitate cash transfers, both digital and non-digital, are discussed.

About this Publication

By Loretta Michaels