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Case study: Visa

Visa and Oxfam combine their expertise and resources to overcome financial challenges facing disaster-affected communities in the Philippines.

In 2014 Oxfam and Visa, the global electronics payment provider, developed a new partnership that has transformed the security, speed and efficiency with which Oxfam can distribute life-saving funds to people affected by natural disaster.

Families are often left with nothing in the wake of a disaster and being given access to money can be the lifeline they need to get back on their feet. However, direct cash grants have their limitations including security and speed of distribution. 

Oxfam was therefore looking to find a faster and more secure solution.

In the aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan, Oxfam and Visa combined their expertise and experience in finance and disaster response to create a first of its kind solution - a pre-paid cash card that could be quickly distributed during times of crisis, and used instantaneously and safely by beneficiaries.

Empowering people to make their own financial decisions

As part of our emergency response to the devastation caused by Typhoon Haiyan, Oxfam distributed 2,700 pre-paid cards to the most vulnerable families.

100% of the cards were successfully deployed, with beneficiaries using their Visa cards to buy lifesaving essentials such as water, food and hygiene products. Crucially, the cards also enabled the local economy to carry on functioning, with local shops and amenities still being able to operate. 

These cards have also gone far beyond just being a payment tool. With the support of this partnership, disaster affected communities are being empowered to take control of their own financial decisions, gaining access to new financial products and learning new skills. 

A future generation of customers

For Visa, its partnership with Oxfam also has important strategic advantages, supporting the company in its mission to provide financial access to everyone everywhere, and exposing them to new sets of customers with growing purchasing power.

This has been a truly transformational partnership and plans are now afoot to scale up and replicate the project for future humanitarian responses.


This project is a great example of how the world's largest payments technology company and the world's leading humanitarian organisation harness our collective resources to innovate and overcome financial challenges during disasters.

Stuart Tomlinson, Visa

With this card, it is easy to get what you need, when you need. Most importantly, it is safer when you receive money through the card. It cannot be taken or stolen easily compared to having the hard cash on your hands.

Flocerfida Babon, Community resident

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