Reaching vulnerable families in Guatemala

When time is of the essence, how can governments effectively deliver aid to those who need it most, including the unbanked? Guatemala faced this urgent question as it took action to help families affected by COVID-19.


  • The Guatemalan government deployed the “Bono Familia” (Family Bonus) program to support low-income families by sending three monthly grants of 1,000 quetzals (approximately $130 USD).
  • Visa, the local acquirer, and 11 financial institutions partnered to help the government disburse aid directly to individuals. The program determined recipients’ eligibility for aid using data from utility companies.
  • Beneficiaries were able to access funds via a virtual bank account to make essential purchases at eligible merchants or to withdraw cash.



This innovative solution reached nearly 2.7 million beneficiaries, including the unbanked.¹

1 UNICEF. Being Prepared and Acting Fast: Guatemala Case Study, 2021.