Tuesday, May 16 • 16:15 - 16:55
Creating a cashless economy in a humanitarian setting LIMITED

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Save the Children has partnered with Segovia and a local telecommunications company, Cellulant, to create a brand new ‘digital wallet,’ enabling cash-less transactions between Save the Children beneficiaries and local vendors. In a high-risk environment, like Northeast Nigeria, this approach gives beneficiaries the flexibility to choose the date and time to redeem their mobile vouchers, while mitigating protection risks that might arise from the need to distribute large amounts of cash.

As the use of this digital wallet was new for Save, beneficiaries and vendors, Save initially piloted the project to 450 households to ensure the technology was fit for purpose; beneficiaries properly understood their rights and redress mechanisms; and that vendors were satisfied with the transaction process. The pilot was so successful, with no failed transactions and a process universally praised by those involved, that Save decided to scale the transfers to over 11,000 households and incorporate additional activities funded by multiple donors.

For beneficiaries, the digital wallet allows them to use the transfer amount to select from a list of food items, the quantity and quality of which they decide for themselves. If beneficiaries are unhappy with prices or quality, they’re welcome to choose other vendors in the network, or buy different foods. They can also use the entire transfer amount or save parts of it, if they don’t have the means or need to purchase a month’s worth of rations at once.

For Save, benefits beyond the reduction in risk are the real-time transaction data that is generated by the system, allowing Save to better understand and respond to beneficiary preference. Transfers are managed directly by Save, eliminating the need for cumbersome interactions with private sector actors, and they’re tracked in real-time within a platform that creates an auditable trail of every log-in and transaction.

avatar for Nick Anderson

Nick Anderson

Sr Specialist, Innov. & Capacity Soltns Arc., Save the Children
Nick Anderson is a humanitarian professional with over ten years’ experience in humanitarian response, emergency food security and livelihoods, community development, program management, and education. As Associate Director of Emergency Food Security and Livelihoods at Save the... Read More →

Tuesday May 16, 2017 16:15 - 16:55 IST