The Government of Malawi joins the Better Than Cash Alliance

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During President Barack Obama’s current visit to Africa, the Government of Malawi announced its commitment to the Better Than Cash Alliance. 
“Our aim at this point is to begin by reaching 21,000 people with payments of $3 million, said Minister of Finance Ken Lipenga. “Of course, we already know that transitioning isn’t easy and that is why we are joining the Better Than Cash Alliance. We will be able to learn from other countries how best to handle the complexities of transition and ensure that not only the economy but also the people benefit.” For more details, click here.

MEDA also pledges its support for the shift from cash to electronic payments as part of its commitment to alleviating poverty and joins the Better Than Cash Alliance.

“We believe that by supporting partners in the private sector and using innovative technology, we can provide the poor with much-needed financial services and create business models and products that last,” said Allan Sauder, President of Mennonite Economic Development Associates in the announcement. Meda currently has projects in Afghanistan, Egypt, Ethiopia, Ghana, Haiti, Libya, Morocco, Nicaragua, Pakistan, Peru, Suriname, Tajikistan, Tanzania, Uganda, Ukraine and  Zambia.

Minister Trivelli identifies BTCA as crucial partner for Peru’s social inclusion strategy
http://www.poverty-action.org/sites/default/files/resize/gfii_lmconf_0-280x280.jpg“The Ministry of Development and Social Inclusion’s aim is to provide Peruvians currently excluded with more and better opportunities so that they can have greater autonomy, develop, and contribute to the growth of their family, community and country”, said Carolina Trivelli, Minister of Development and Social Inclusion in her keynote speech at the Evidence on Innovations in Financial Capacity Conference held in Peru earlier this month. The Minister outlined MIDIS’s 2016 goal of bringing a million new clients and customers from this vulnerable population into the financial system, said that alliances with partners such as Better Than Cash Alliance were crucial to ensure the sharing of experiences and the evaluation of pilot designs.
The conference, held in Lima from May 31 to June 1, was organized by Innovations for Poverty Action under the Citi IPA Financial Capability Research Fund with support from the Citi Foundation and in collaboration with the Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab and the Universidad del Pacífico. Minister Trivelli’s presentation in Spanish can be view here.

Nandini Harihareshwara discusses lessons learned from USAID’s internal shift from cash to electronic payments   World Bank expert Carlo Corazza stresses importance of new technology to reduce remittance costs

When it joined the Alliance, USAID promised to shift its procurement payments from cash to electronic payments, where possible. But change doesn’t happen overnight, as Nandini Harihareshwara the USAID Operations Director & Senior Partnerships Officer explains in a new Better Than Cash Alliance video.
“Consistently we are hearing from every organization that the insecurity of cash is one of the reasons why they want to switch from cash to electronic,” says Nandini Harihareshwara.
But change management, she goes on, “is hard work and we’ve had a lot of challenges in trying to integrate electronic payments into our programmes and operations.” In the video, Harihareshwara discusses the organisation’s motivations for implementing e-payments, as well as some of the challenges and the benefits USAID and its partners have experienced migrating from cash to epayments.
Carlo Corazza, Payment Systems and Remittances Specialist with the World Bank's Payment Systems Development Group and Financial Inclusion Global Practice says innovation in retail payment systems can bring about increased efficiencies. However, he says, there are also a number of challenges to be addressed to make the transition a complete success. 
In a new video, available on the BTCA YouTube channel, Corazza talks with Better Than Cash Alliance about the benefits new research has shown that migrants can gain from the introduction of new technologies to remittances and some of the challenges that lie ahead in effecting change.



Peru World Leader in E-Money Law

Peru recently became the first country in the region to issue e-money legislation by national parliament. A Supreme Decree was passed last month bringing the laws into effect.
“E-money is the next step in the dematerialization of money. The creation of e-money is a revolution like the introduction of paper money,” said Daniel Schydlowsky, Superintendent of Superintendencia de Banca, Seguros y AFP (SBS) del Peru. “Poor people will substantially benefit from this development.”

The legislation will allow companies to issue e-money under the supervision of the SBS and help SBS to meet its commitments made during the 2011 AFI Global Policy Forum to advance financial inclusion in the South American country. Representatives are hopeful the law will further encourage innovative alliances and relationships between the banking and private sectors as the use of e-money expands. For related information click here.

For updates on Better Than Cash Alliance’s work, please visit www.BetterThanCash.org or join our Twitter conversation at @BetterThan_Cash.

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