India joins Better Than Cash Alliance to enhance financial inclusion

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The government of India has officially joined the Better Than Cash Alliance, the UN-based conglomerate of international organisations and countries promoting digital banking.

Digital economy

India has been striving towards improving its financial sector over the past 12 months. The Better Than Cash announcement coincides with the first anniversary of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s initiative to make the country more financially inclusive, named Pradhan Mantri Jan-Dhan Yojana (PMJDY).

The PMJDY initiative has already been a huge success, with 175 million new bank accounts opened since the scheme started, with deposits totalling $3.4 billion (223 billion Rupees), according to the government of India.

By joining the alliance, India will hope to push forward in its goal to create universal access to banking facilities for every household. Citizens will also be taught how to manage their finances, as well as gaining access to credit, insurance and a pension plan.

Cashless society

India has joined the alliance with the view to reduce cash within its economy and to promote the use of digital financial services. This way the government can help more people set up a bank account, including some of the poorest people in the country.

Dr Ruth Goodwin-Groen, managing director of the Better Than Cash Alliance, has praised India’s efforts to digitise its financial sector.

‘‘India’s leadership and progress are inspirational for countries around the world.”

‘‘By making the digitization of payments to achieve financial inclusion a top priority, the Indian Government is showing its commitment to improving the lives of its people and driving inclusive growth.’’

This is just one of many steps that the Indian government is taking to move away from cash. Later this month, Prime Minister Modi will travel to New York to attend a UN summit that will launch the adopted Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The initiative includes a number of world leaders that hope to encourage developing nations to improve its digital financial services.

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