How government payments can better reach and serve vulnerable groups

June 11, 2024

One of the most important duties of government is to protect their nation’s most vulnerable people. But many legacy government disbursement systems struggle to be accessible to the needs of all their users, often failing to be accessible to individuals without bank accounts, those lacking formal identify documents, or other hard-to-reach groups.

This Visa webinar looked at how governments can enhance their disbursement systems to meet this challenge. It examined how developments in payment technology can create social security and other government support systems that provide both an improved experience for recipients and better data and payment oversight for public servants.

Join this session to find out:

  • How different payment models such as pre-paid cards and digital direct payments can help government make payments to hard-to-reach groups and improve choice.
  • How modern government disbursement programmes can be designed to reduce the threshold for financial competence, and improve financial literacy, in recipients.
  • How technology can join up welfare and benefits systems from different government departments, so support can be more responsive when an individual’s circumstances change.


Dina Buse, Deputy Director, Financial Market Policy Department & Head, Credit Institution and Payment Services Policy Division, Ministry of Finance, Latvia

Dina has 15 years’ experience across innovation, financial engineering instruments and small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) support programmes. For the past eight years she has focused on the development of financial sector regulation, including banking sector regulation, resolution, payment services and fintech policy.

Antonio Manzi, National Director, Transfers and Data Analysis, Ministry of Social Development, Uruguay

Antonio Manzi is the current National Director of Transfers and Data Analysis at the Ministry of Social Development in Uruguay, in charge of managing monetary transfer programs for socioeconomically vulnerable households. His directorate also of monitors and evaluates the Ministry´s social programs, providing data analysis services on their performance, and maintaining the Integrated Information System for Social Matters (SIIAS), which collects individual-level data from more than 30 government institutions, providing a broad view of access to social services, reducing fragmentation and providing efficiency in the delivery of social policies.

During the pandemic, his team was in charge of designing and implementing an emergency transfer programme, which was channelled through a publicly-owned mobile app, becoming the first-ever digital payment delivery mechanism for cash transfers in Uruguay.

Before this role, he was political officer at the British Embassy in Uruguay, analyst at the Central Bank of Uruguay, junior consultant at Towers Watson (now Willis Towers Watson) and analyst at a service provider for PwC.

Antonio is part of the Chevening Alumni Network, winning a scholarship from the UK government to obtain a master’s degree in Management and Public Policy at King´s College London. During his stay in the UK, he co-funded Bloomsbury Policy Group (BPG), an independent, non-partisan, non-profit organization with a mission to promote innovative and evidence-informed policymaking that improves the economic, social, and political development of Latin America.

Cathal Long, Senior Research Fellow, Development and Public Finance, Overseas Development Institute (ODI)

Cathal co-leads the Digital Public Finance Hub at ODI. His other main area of interest is local government financing for service delivery. He also provides advice and technical assistance on public financial management reforms to governments and their development partners through ODI’s advisory services.

Prior to joining ODI, he was an ODI Fellow in the Ministry of Economic Planning and Development in Swaziland, and previously worked in public sector consultancy.

He holds a Master’s in Economics from University College Dublin and is a member of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA).

Mark Palmer, Vice President, Europe, Visa Government Solutions

Mark has led Visa’s public sector team in Europe since in April 2022, helping governments throughout the region to digitise revenue collection, disbursements, and commercial payments. He has 35 years of experience in the technology industry across Public Sector markets, and led government digital transformation solutions for Google Cloud and IBM over two decades.  Mark is a member of the IET and Chartered Engineer, and is a fellow of the British Computing Society. 

Webinar chair: Siobhan Benita, Facilitator, Global Government Forum

Siobhan Benita was a senior civil servant with over 15 years’ Whitehall experience. She worked in many of the major delivery departments, including Transport, Environment, Health and Local Government. She also had senior roles at the heart of Government in the Cabinet Office and HM Treasury, including supporting the then Cabinet Secretary, Lord O’Donnell to lead work on Civil Service reform and strategy. Siobhan left the Civil Service to run as an independent candidate in the Mayor of London election. She subsequently joined her alma mater, Warwick University as Chief Strategy Officer of Warwick in London and Co-Director of the Warwick Policy Lab.