Recent years have seen a remarkable renaissance of the rationing coupon. It was Mary Douglas who once compared these media of redistribution to natural currencies. She did not see them as a hallmark of socialist (poor) planning, but as important means of sustenance of the social fabric in times of scarcity. In fact, they nourished the better part of Europe during the war economies of the 20th century. In 1948 they helped to build the state of Israel. After droughts and tsunamis, in times of inflation and failed speculation rationing devices have been utilized worldwide by nations, intergovernmental agencies or nongovernmental organizations.
This talk will outline the present FinTech solutions of the World Food Programme, one of the largest and most innovative purveyors of basic needs. It uses biometric identification (IrisScan), smart cards and a global data cloud in Geneva, and is on the forefront of monetary development for the unbanked. It will be argued that by establishing a link between ID and medium of exchange a new brand of governmental money emerges.