Thanks to our founders and members, the Better Than Cash Alliance continues to achieve momentum in raising awareness about the benefits of digitizing cash payments to people. This month ACDI/VOCA joined the Alliance by making a commitment to transition from cash to electronic payments, our Managing Director Ruth Goodwin-Groen spoke at Citi’s Digital Money Symposium, and founding members from Omidyar Network, USAID and Visa Inc. represented the Alliance at Mobile World Congress 2013.

ACDI/VOCA, an international development organization, joined the Better Than Cash Alliance this month and committed to transition its worldwide operational and programmatic payments from cash to electronic. ACDI/VOCA has worked in 145 countries since 1963 to alleviate poverty and support broad-based growth by empowering people to succeed in the global economy.  

“ACDI/VOCA is committed to reducing our use of cash. Electronic payments increase staff security, reduce the risk of theft or other loss of funds and improve efficiency and transparency,” said Matt Renaud, ACDI/VOCA’s chief financial officer. “The transition makes good sense for both our operations and our development programs expanding opportunities worldwide.”

Ruth Goodwin-Groen, Managing Director, was interviewed by Finextra at Citi’s Digital Money Symposium in February, where she discusses the social benefits of digital money for government and end-users in emerging markets. Ruth highlighted the benefits of electronic payments, including cost reduction and financial inclusion, and also shared the success of countries such as the government of Brazil, which has seen a 75 percent cost reduction because of its shift to electronic payments. Watch the full interview here.

Mobile World Congress 2013 in Barcelona was an important opportunity to discuss the role of mobile financial services in the global electronic payments movement. Three Better Than Cash Alliance founders represented the initiative at the GSMA Mobile Money for the Unbanked Seminar: Arjuna Costa of Omidyar Network, Priya Jaisinghani of USAID and Douglas Sabo of Visa Inc. All three also led bilateral meetings with mobile network operators to engage them in efforts of the Better Than Cash Alliance.
Also at Mobile World Congress, Priya Jaisinghani accepted the award for ‘Best Government Policy for Mobile Development’ on behalf of USAID, and Douglas Sabo anchored a video series titled “Voices of Inclusion” from the conference floor, where two founding members of the Better Than Cash Alliance were interviewed, Daniel Radcliffe of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and Till Bruett of the United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF).

While our continued advocacy efforts are worth noting, it is only one element of the Better Than Cash Alliance’s mission. We continue to lay the groundwork for rigorous research on electronic payments, knowledge sharing and technical assistance as well and look forward to announcing exciting steps over the next few months. For additional information about our work, please visit


Ruth Goodwin-Groen
Managing Director, The Better Than Cash Alliance
Copyright © 2013 BTCA - UNCDF, All rights reserved.
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