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US President Obama and Indian PM Modi recognise the Better Than Cash Alliance 

Photo credit: Sandeep Sharma/ The Hindu

In their joint statement, US President Barack Obama and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi recognised India’s intent to join the Better Than Cash Alliance.

Photo credit: Rebecca Blum/IRC 

The International Rescue Committee sees electronic payments as 'game-changing'

Khadija, a Syrian refugee in Lebanon, uses an ATM card to  spend money on medicine for her grandson. The money comes from the cash transfer program of the International Rescue Committee (IRC). Thanks to  IRC's work, 42,000 households receive cash transfers that amount to a cash value of $ 8.7 million. The IRC joined  the Better Than Cash Alliance in support of their commitment to provide essential services within the first 72 hours of crisis. “We are committed to impactful economic support to populations affected by crisis,” said David Miliband, President & CEO of IRC. The IRC encourages market-sensitive interventions at all stages of the humanitarian response, and will engage with the Alliance to integrate digital payments throughout its programs.

Andrés Escobar, Vice-Minister, Ministry of Finance
Photo credit: Min Hacienda  

Colombia leads the way and  adopts an ecosystem approach to electronic payments  

The Republic of Colombia joined the Better Than Cash Alliance, with the Ministry of Finance committing to furthering the country’s transition from cash to electronic payments. The announcement was made at an event organized by the Better Than Cash Alliance, the Department of Social Prosperity and the Ministry of Finance in Bogota on January 27 to examine how Colombia can develop a digital payments ecosystem. The Better Than Cash Alliance launched a payments ecosystem diagnostic for Colombia as well as two case studies


Good and bad news for electronic transfers in humanitarian response

Electronic transfers promise a faster, more secure, and more transparent means of getting help to those in need, even in hard to reach places. To begin to address these problems, the Better Than Cash Alliance, with input from many partners, has developed a toolkit for development partners making humanitarian payments and it is now being “beta” tested. Read this guest blog by Jamie Zimmerman. 

Photo credit:

Two primers by USAID provide the fundamentals of payments and mobile money 

The primer, Electronic Payment Systems 101, explains card network fundamentals and payment networks. The follow-up document, Electronic Payment Systems 201, discusses mobile money, its impact on financial inclusion, and interoperabilty. Additionally, a webinar  recording is available to provide greater detail on the briefs.

Photo credit: The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation

Their big bet for the future: Bill and Melinda Gates

Bill and Melinda Gates released their 2015 Annual Letter. In the letter, they stated their “big bet for the future” is that the lives of people in poor countries will improve faster in the next 15 years thanks to breakthroughs in health, farming, banking and education. The letter specifically points to digital banking as a tool to give poor people more control over their assets and help them transform their lives.

50 best Fintech Innovators in financial services 

The 50 Best Fintech Innovators report gives an in-depth look into those global companies that are taking advantage of technology and driving disruption within the financial services industry. The report is a collaborative effort between AWI, KPMG Australia and the Financial Services Council of Australia. 

The Federación Nacional de Cafeteros de Colombia (Colombian Coffee Growers Federation) shifted their payments to coffee growers from cash to payment cards. Over seven years, they saved approximately 80 percent of the cost of making those payments in cash. Read the Better Than Cash Alliance case study.

Photo credit: Colombian Coffee Growers Federation

Does the GSMA Code of Conduct protect consumers? World Bank’s Rosamund Grady wonders

The State Bank of Pakistan analyzes the performance of branchless banking players

2015 set to be a big year for digital financial inclusion in India, say CGAP's Kumar and Gates' Radcliffe

Financial inclusion is one of the Turkish G20 Presidency priorities 

World Bank & BTCA author Leora Klapper named a top woman economist by Slate

Digital payments offer cost-savings: Ruth Goodwin Groen speaks to Monika Halan from Livemint India

Movistar and MasterCard launch “Tu Dinero Movil”, a new mobile money service for Peru 

The Better Than Cash Alliance is launching a new set of five comprehensive toolkits to help governments, companies and development partners shift from cash to electronic payments. Join us for 1-hour long webinars on how to use these toolkits from 23-27 February 2015. Register now 

Three weeks left until GSMA's Mobile World Congress,2-5 March 2015, Barcelona, Spain

Register for the WSBI – CaixaBank Conference on “Innovation in Payments at the Forefront of Retail Banking”, 13- 14 April 2015, Barcelona, Spain

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