Project overview

plugPAY is a digital payment solution for vulnerable communities to rapidly receive cash assistance through their payment instrument of choice.

The problem

As cash-based transfers have grown to account for around 35 percent of the World Food Programme's assistance portfolio, demand for digital solutions is constantly growing. Their proven positive effect on financial inclusion and women empowerment along with the need for decentralized contactless solutions put pressure on the current processes and systems to deliver the over 39 different combinations of payment instruments and delivery mechanisms with over 220 partners in the financial sector.


The solution

plugPAY is WFP’s mass payment capability for beneficiary payments. It works towards empowerment and choice at the heart of an inclusive financial services ecosystem, while allowing for interoperable payments directly from WFP internal accounts to beneficiary accounts or mobile wallets. It shall be open for WFP and its partners in the humanitarian sector as well as governments and non-government organizations in the future. The platform shall enable the people WFP serves to enrol on programmes, choose the most favourable pay-out instrument or receive support for account creation and financial inclusion.

A father and son. Photo: WFP/Deniz Akkus

The way forward

The plugPAY solution is rolled out in Zambia and Sri Lanka's WFP Country Offices, enabled in Nepal and Bangladesh, and is in the process of going live in Tunisia, The Philippines, and Nigeria. The plugPAY team has completed the mapping of the payment infrastructures in more than 72 countries globally, to prioritize further countries for rollout in 2024. plugPAY has disbursed cash-based transfers to more than 600,000 people by the end of November 2023.

Photo: WFP/Ismail Taxta


Last updated: 29/12/2023