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New USAID Handbook: How to Implement Electronic Payments in Development Programs

By Wayan Vota on June 3, 2015

usaid-epayments

Have you read the USAID Procurement Executive Bulletin NO. 2014-06 that promotes the use of electronic payments at the procurement/assistance planning and award stages? Specifically, it states:

USAID has determined that electronic payment systems are a sound and preferred business practice, and that in comparison cash payment systems may increase cost and risk. Therefore, electronic payment systems must be the default method of payment under all awards.

That means every new USAID procurement will require electronic payments for direct program beneficiaries and subcontractors, grantees under contracts, or sub-recipients and contractor and vendors under grants and cooperative agreements. So pretty much everyone needs to move from cash to ePayments.

How to Implement Electronic Payments?

epayments-guide

The USAID ePayment Toolkit for USAID Implementing Partners and Development Organizations is designed to support these efforts and was created by USAID’s Global Development Lab and NetHope’s Payment Innovations Project to assist relief and development organizations in making the journey from using cash payments to e-payments wherever possible.

This Toolkit aggregates lessons learned from organizations, illustrated by examples from both early champions of this movement as well as others who only recently embarked on this journey.

It is designed to be used by organizations regardless of their experience with e-payments and to inspire and enable organizations new to e-payments to consider making the switch. The Toolkit is intended to be a practical “how-to” guide divided into step-by-step modules. It borrows from the multitude of relevant resources available, but we selected and recommend just a few key tools and resources at each step as a guide.

USAID, with FHI360, has also produced a Digital Financial Services for Development Handbook as a comprehensive resource for Agency personnel to support the growth of both e-payment systems and the broader sector.

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Written by
Wayan Vota co-founded ICTworks and is the Digital Health Director at IntraHealth International. He also co-founded Technology Salon, MERL Tech, ICTforAg, ICT4Djobs, ICT4Drinks, JadedAid, Kurante, OLPC News and a few other things. Opinions expressed here are his own and do not reflect the position of IntraHealth International or other ICTWorks sponsors.
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