View this email in your browser

Digital Bangladesh: Bangladesh joins the Better Than Cash Alliance 

Photo credit:  Imtiaz Alam Beg

Millions of Bangladeshis, especially women, will benefit from an ambitious commitment by the Government of Bangladesh to expand financial inclusion in line with its Digital Bangladesh Vision 2021. As Bangladesh joins the Better Than Cash Alliance, it commits to digitize all forms of social safety payments to citizens and all forms of fees that citizens make to the government for services. The commitment builds on the Government’s provision of over 60 government services digitally to 4.5 million underserved citizens via 5,000 Digital Centres established in all rural and urban governance institutions across the country. 

The Better Than Cash Journey: Highlights from our Alliance

In the first part of our Member Series, Maura Hart of Women’s World Banking brings you the innovative and inspiring ideas being implemented by Alliance members like Colombia, Malawi and Mercy Corps to fulfil their commitment to “go digital.” The ground-breaking work of these governments, businesses and international development organizations will hopefully give confidence to others to take action towards building inclusive digital ecosystems that provide financial access for all.

Picture credit: L Wright/ Sierra Leone 

Sierra Leone commits to digital payments to encourage growth

The Government of Sierra Leone announced that it has joined the Better Than Cash Alliance to advance its transition from cash to digital payments – a crucial part of its plan to drive a national economic recovery in the wake of the Ebola crisis. 


Potential for $11 trillion in cash and check transactions globally to go electronic

Visa estimates that $11 trillion in cash and check transactions globally could go electronic. To tap this amount, which is bigger than the GDP of China, Visa is already experimenting with alternative payment systems. Stephen Kehoe, Senior Vice President, Head of Global Financial Inclusion says,  “There is about an $11 trillion opportunity to digitize commerce through the conversion of cash and check in the markets where we operate, especially so in the developing world. Providing safe, affordable, and convenient ways to digitize cash is not just a business opportunity. It’s also a route to making financial services work for underserved consumers and economies more efficient.”

Picture credit: GSMA

Closing the gender gap in mobile phone access and use

Why does the gender gap in mobile phone use exist and how severe is it? A new GSMA report, Bridging the gender gap: Mobile access and usage in low- and middle-income countries, offers an in-depth analysis of the issue. In this blog, Shireen Santosham from GSMA Connected Women suggests that women and girls often use mobile phones less intensively than men, especially for services like mobile internet. The report findings have an important implication for the provision of digital finance to women. 


Intermedia: Financial access improves lives of consumers in eight countries across Africa and Asia

Improving access to financial services contributes to well-being across the economic spectrum according to new data released by InterMedia, an independent global strategic research and evaluation consultancy. See more resources here.

This year, the world has an historic opportunity to adopt a new sustainable development agenda. To help you understand why 2015 is important, a new UN website provides latest news, facts and figures as well as an overview of key UN processes. To start with, the right financing must get to where it is needed. Find out more about the Financing for Development 2015

Picture credit: Action 2015

Pakistan: Finance Minister Ishaq Dar sees digitization as key for financial inclusion 

Recognizing a neglected opportunity: The multiple benefits of electronic wage payments by BTCA's Mia Overall in Next Billion

Rwanda: Citizens to start paying taxes using mobile money 

‪India‬: Three steps to begin ‪financial inclusion‬ at home 

MasterCard becomes the first international payments network to enter Somalia 

Why does financial inclusion matter for big development goals? Q & A with Beth Porter from BTCA.

What the U.S. can learn about Financial Inclusion from the developing world? Matt Homer from USAID answers  

European Development Days 2015, 3-4 June, Brussels, Belgium 

World Economic Forum on Africa 2015, 3-5 June, CapeTown, South Africa 

GSMA Mobile World Congress, 15-17 July 2015, Shanghai, China 

Please visit us at








Copyright © 2015 BTCA - UNCDF, All rights reserved.