Alliance Accelerates Work to Transition from Cash to Electronic Payments Worldwide
NEW YORK, November 27, 2012 — The Better Than Cash Alliance, founded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Citi (NYSE: C), Ford Foundation, Omidyar Network, the U.N. Capital Development Fund (UNCDF), U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), and Visa Inc. (NYSE: V), today named Ruth Goodwin-Groen as Managing Director. The Better Than Cash Alliance initiative, launched in late-September, aims to empower people and grow emerging economies by supporting the shift from cash to electronic payments.
“I have been a longtime advocate of the importance of inclusive financial systems for addressing poverty. It is a privilege to lead the Better Than Cash Alliance and work to catalyze change that will achieve greater transparency, efficiency and cost savings for governments, development organizations and companies and benefit those who are currently financially excluded,” said Ruth Goodwin-Groen, the new Managing Director of the Alliance.
Goodwin-Groen will lead the Better Than Cash Alliance efforts to accelerate the global shift from cash to electronic payments by calling on governments, private sector leaders, multilateral and bilateral donors, U.N. agencies and non-governmental organizations that are committed to a transformational shift from cash to electronic payments. In addition to the governments of Colombia, Kenya, Peru, and the Philippines, along with development organizations USAID, the United Nations Development Programme, the World Food Programme, Mercy Corps, CARE USA and Concern Worldwide, Goodwin-Groen will continue to encourage others to commit to digitize their disbursements and payments to people living in poverty and lead the effort to support their transition.
“Ms. Goodwin-Groen’s dynamic leadership and experience will help ensure the visionary mission of the Better Than Cash Alliance will come to fruition,” said Christine Roth, Deputy Executive Secretary of the U.N. Capital Development Fund, which serves as the secretariat for the Better Than Cash Alliance.
Goodwin-Groen is the former AusAID Adviser on Financial Services for the Poor and the Financial Inclusion Adviser to the Australian Co-Chair of the G20 Financial Inclusion Experts Group. Goodwin-Groen has 15 years’ of technical consulting experience in microfinance and financial inclusion in Eastern Europe, Africa, Asia and the Pacific. Clients have included the Consultative Group to Assist the Poor, the World Bank, the Soros Foundation, UK Department for International Development, FinMark Trust (South Africa), German Technical Cooperation, Women’s World Banking and Cambridge University. She is also a Board member of Microfinance Investment Support Facility for Afghanistan. Goodwin-Groen holds an MBA (Distinction) from Harvard Business School, a B.Sc. Hons I from the University of Western Australia and is a doctoral candidate at the University of Bath, writing a thesis on the Development of Inclusive Financial Markets.
About Better Than Cash Alliance
The Better Than Cash Alliance partners with governments, the development community and the private sector to empower people by shifting from cash to electronic payments. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Citi, Ford Foundation, Omidyar Network, USAID, and Visa Inc. are the founders and the U.N. Capital Development Fund serves as the secretariat. To learn more, visit http://www.BetterThanCash.org and follow @BetterThan_Cash.