Governments, the development community and the private sector make billions of dollars in cash payments to the poor, including disbursements of salaries, payments to suppliers, pensions, social welfare stipends, cash-for-work programs, emergency relief payments, and others. While cash is preferable to the distribution of food and other in-kind goods, these programs present a missed opportunity to expand financial inclusion and help people in poverty grow assets.
Accelerating the shift from cash to electronic payments can improve the livelihoods of low-income people by advancing financial inclusion, enabling people to build savings and accelerating the growth of emerging economies. By 2017, the Better Than Cash Alliance aims to achieve:
- Significant commitments by governments, the development community, non-governmental organizations, and the private sector to implement electronic payment solutions instead of cash.
- Delivery of demand-driven technical assistance to governments, non-governmental organizations, the development community, or members of the private sector that will dramatically increase the capacity of these stakeholders to deliver end-user-focused payment technologies.
- Improved economic security for millions of low-income and poor people, many of whom were previously unbanked, enabling them to use bank or electronic accounts to build savings and assets via innovative payment technologies.
Delivery of knowledge products that demonstrate how to implement electronic-payment solutions so that electronic payments are profitable and sustainable while ensuring the financial inclusion and savings opportunities for those living in poverty.