Evaluating the Impacts of the Raskin-BPNT Transition on Digital Financial Inclusion
In 2018, the Government of Indonesia began a national rollout of its flagship food assistance program from the in-kind delivery of rice to the distribution of e-vouchers called BPNT, redeemable at a network of private sector vendors. This spurred the proliferation of bank agents, capable of processing other financial transactions, in addition to BPNT redemption, and created bank accounts for 15 million of Indonesia’s poorest households. The rollout of BPNT was conducted in a staggered, randomized fashion to enable the rigorous evaluation of the transition in 105 districts. We exploit this randomization and leverage data from Indonesia’s National Socioeconomic Survey, Financial Inclusion Insights Survey, and potentially bank administrative data to rigorously evaluate the transition’s effects on digital financial inclusion and digital access to other social protection programs. We pair these quantitative findings with qualitative insights to understand barriers to expanding financial inclusion and strategies to spur G2P payments and bank agent activity.