Mobile money options to facilitate payment of incentives in Senegal’s RBF program: An assessment of opportunities, barriers, and solutions

Resource Type: Report
Authors: Marilyn Heymann, Ben Picillo, and Pamela Riley
Published: 6/30/2016

Resource Description: 

The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) promotes the use of electronic payment services as a means for improving access to financial services for “unbanked” populations and increasing accountability and transparency for financial flows in public sector programs. Widespread diffusion of digital payments also can introduce more advanced services including savings, credit, and insurance. Results-Based Financing (RBF) interventions link incentive payments to performance targets. RBF requires the ability to transfer and track payments, serving as a potential use case for mobile money services as a transfer mechanism. Literature on the use of mobile money for RBF payments is limited.

USAID’s Health Finance & Governance (HFG) project received core funding to identify promising applications of mobile money within health systems and provide technical assistance at the country level to support their development. At the request of Senegal’s RBF program, with concurrence from the USAID mission in Senegal, HFG’s mobile money team conducted an assessment in Senegal to explore options for integrating mobile money into the RBF program. The team sought to discover how integrating mobile money might both strengthen RBF operations and promote broader uptake of mobile money use through diffusion within the health system. Delivering RBF payments via mobile money can expose recipients to the process and value of mobile money and potentially stimulate demand for additional mobile money services within the broader community and particularly within the health sector. This paper explores opportunities and barriers and makes recommendations for a small-scale pilot to test mobile money in the RBF program.



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