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 40 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 provides the missing piece to a new capability that ensures interoperable payments directly from 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 nongovernment organizations in the future. The platform shall enable beneficiaries to enrol to programmes, choose the most favourable pay-out instrument or receive support for account creation and financial inclusion, while the humanitarian actors will use a user interfaces that allows matching of funding sources to beneficiary accounts.

A father and son. Photo: WFP/Deniz Akkus

The way forward

The plugPAY team has completed the mapping of the payment infrastructures in more than 62 countries globally, and the two country offices of Zambia and Haiti have volunteered to implement the initial plugPAY pilot payments in the fourth quarter of 2021 to reach hundreds of beneficiaries even in the first payment cycles.

Photo: WFP/Ismail Taxta


Last updated: 22/10/2021