Distributing benefits and subsidies in Guatemala
As a response to the global COVID-19 pandemic, the government in Guatemala needed to create an emergency fund disbursement solution to help those most affected.
Together with the Ministry of Social Development (MIDES), Visa designed a programme that leveraged the technology offered by Visa Direct to make near real-time* deposits to a virtual payment credential and provide citizens with quick access to the funds.
As the ecosystem integrator, VisaNet Guatemala (local acquirer) also played a key role, creating the tokens linked to the virtual accounts opened by the banks involved. The company also made sure that the funds were credited to the virtual accounts following standard procedure, which ultimately opened the door for beneficiaries to be able to spend those funds at any point of sale accepting Visa cards.
In less than 30 days, Visa, VisaNet Guatemala, and 11 financial institutions disbursed aid funds using Visa Direct rails to 2.7 million virtual payment credentials, establishing seamless data integration points between the government, utilities, merchants and financial institutions.
This solution gave beneficiaries access to a virtual bank account and allowed them to make essential purchases at merchants, gas stations and convenience stores, and/or withdraw cash.
*Visa requires Fast Funds enabled issuers to make funds available to their recipient cardholders within a maximum of 30 minutes of approving the transaction. Actual fund availability varies by receiving financial institution.