Digital financial services (DFS) have cut costs and increased efficiency and transparency for many government institutions and development programs. Studies also show that DFS can improve access to financial services and increase resiliency and consumption for low-income beneficiaries by providing tools to manage expenses, save, plan and make payments without having to sacrifice income or resort to selling assets. The cost efficiency and access that DFS supports is and can be applied in a variety of sectors, such as health, to increase development impact, and can similarly be leveraged to help support education outcomes.

This brief is intended to help USAID practitioners understand how the targeted use of DFS can support programming around USAID’s three education strategy goals. DFS can promote greater time and cost efficiencies and transparency for education service delivery within, and outside of, the classroom.