Government-to-person (G2P) and employer-to-person payments of all sorts, often referred to as “bulk payments”, are seen by many as key enablers for the growth of the digital financial services (DFSs) ecosystem. In this paper, we examine ways in which bulk payments have been made in the past and look at ways in which this has improved over recent years. We also analyse the remaining challenges which have stymied bulk payment rollouts in many countries.
We then look forward and anticipate ways in which bulk payments may be made in cases where the infrastructure has developed to a point where digital transaction accounts are pervasive, a biometric national ID system is in place, and interoperability among DFSs providers is common. We propose a model of how bulk payments might be made when those conditions are met. Finally, we take a look at three countries: India, Nigeria, and Peru, which all show particular promise of developing in these directions.