The World Bank Group, a US-based institution whose aim is to reduce poverty, recently released a report titled “General Guidelines for the Development of Government Payment Programs” that aims to assist governments and other stakeholders in developing efficient electronic government-payment systems. The document indicates that government-payment programs can be made more efficient, safer and more transparent while cutting costs by approximately 75 percent. The report considers case studies such as the “Bolsa Familia” electronic cash transfer program in Brazil, which combine several payment programs into one payment account and lowered administrative costs of money transfers from 14.7 percent to 2.6 percent of the value of the amount transferred.
The guidelines include advice on: (1) ensuring that payments and collections are part of a system of the efficient and transparent management of public finances; (2) making government programs safe, reliable and cost-effective; and (3) ensuring that modernizing government payment programs facilitates the development of national payment systems and promotes financial inclusion.
By Charlotte Newman, Research Associate
About the World Bank Group
The World Bank Group consists of five institutions, all of which are owned by its member countries. The Group’s mission is to improve living standards for people in the developing world. The World Bank Group encompasses the International Finance Corporation (IFC); the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA); the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) and the World Bank, which consists of the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) and the International Development Association (IDA).
Sources and Additional Resources:
World Bank Group Press Release: “Governments Can Save Up to 75% with Electronic Payment Programs,” http://www.worldbank.org/en/news/2012/08/02/governments-can-save-up-seventy-five-percent-with-electronic-payment-programs
World Bank Group: “General Guidelines for the Development of Government Payment Programs,” http://siteresources.worldbank.org/FINANCIALSECTOR/Resources/General_Guidelines_Govt_Payment_Aug2012.pdf
MicroCapital.org story, June 2, 2012, “MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: World Bank’s Findex: 16% of Sub-Saharan Africans Transfer Money via Mobile Phones,” http://www.microcapital.org/microcapital-brief-world-banks-findex-16-of-sub-saharan-africans-transfer-money-via-mobile-phones/
MicroCapital.org story, June 1, 2012, “MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Women Entrepreneur Development Project of Ethiopia Borrow $50m From World Bank,” http://www.microcapital.org/microcapital-brief-women-entrepreneur-development-project-of-ethiopia-borrow-50m-from-world-bank/
MicroCapital Universe Profile: World Bank Group
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