Better Than Cash Alliance to drive e-payments

Cash trapping people in poverty

A group of development organisations, foundations and private companies, including Citi and Visa are collaborating to form the Better Than Cash Alliance (view press release). The aim of the partnership is to facilitate the shift towards electronic payments to fight poverty and improve conditions for those trapped in a cycle dependent on cash. Other members of the group, consisting of The UN Capital Development Fund, US Agency for International Development, The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Ford Foundation and Omidyar Network, are calling on governments, the development community and the private sector to adopt electronic payments for programmes that support living in poverty.

A report commissioned by the alliance and released by consultancy Bankable Frontier Associates concluded that the cash-only economy can prevent people from breaking the cycle of poverty.

We’ve all heard the adage ‘cash is king,’ but for too many women and men in the world, living in a cash-reliant world is a tremendous burden,” said David Porteous, founder of Bankable Frontier Associates. “Cash-only economies often make it too difficult to find a path out of poverty — it means it is hard to build up savings, cash offers too many opportunities for corruption, and women are often at risk when they have to carry their life savings in cash or gold rather than in an electronic account.”



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