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Steering post offices globally towards digital financial services

An employee at a post office outside of Istanbul, Turkey, providing postal financial services to customers. Photo credit: UPU/ E.Oktay

The Universal Postal Union (UPU), the UN’s agency for postal services, has joined the Better Than Cash Alliance. UPU will be helping national postal offices in its 192 member countries to integrate digital payment technologies and explore new digital business models, such as mobile financial services. Posts could provide these either directly or by partnering with mobile network operators or technology companies. With some 660,000 post offices worldwide, posts offer financial services to 1.5 billion people, ranging from remittances to insurance and credit. Read the blog.

A coffee farmer in Colombia's rural coffee growing regions shows his Smart Coffee ID Card. Photo credit: Colombian Coffee Growers Federation

Saving $15.5 million by replacing cash with cards for Colombia's rural coffee farmers

Over seven years, the Federación Nacional de Cafeteros de Colombia (Colombian Coffee Growers Federation) saved approximately $15.5 million by shifting their payments to coffee growers from cash to payment cards, a saving of approximately 80 percent of the cost of making those payments in cash.  Thanks to a Smart ID Card, coffee growers in rural Colombia were able to receive a wide range of payments – from salaries, payments to government subsidies, credit and savings. Read our blog or the case study.

Tiyese Molly Chatsala, an agent network manager at NBS Bank, with a potential agent. Photo credit: Women's World Banking

Women’s World Banking creates successful agent networks

In the run up to International Women’s Day on 8 March, Women’s World Banking’s shares lessons from its work with its partner banks—Diamond Bank from Nigeria, NBS Bank from Malawi, and NMB in Tanzania —on creating a successful agent network.  


Digitize tax payments and increase domestic resource mobilization

The recent Better Than Cash Alliance webinar on digitizing government payments shows government agencies how to plan to digitize tax collection. Listen and learn! Join our Yammer community to download the Draft Government Toolkit and provide feedback to the toolkit authors.

Photo credit: Visa Inc. Mexico City

A toolkit for companies planning to reduce costs on cash payments

The Draft Business Toolkit helps business practitioners and their advisors to map the process of transitioning from cash or paper-based systems; to identify the costs and benefits of shifting to electronic payments for companies, value chains and consumers; and to make the case for change inside their organizations. See the webinar introducing the first of five draft toolkits from the Better Than Cash Alliance, designed in partnership with Bankable Frontier Associates (BFA). Join our Yammer community to download the Draft Business Toolkit and provide feedback to the toolkit authors.


NGOs, INGOs and development agencies:  Increase your accountability through digital transfers

Watch the webinar about the Draft Development Community Toolkit to determine the costs and benefits of using electronic means instead of cash for emergency transfers or other development interventions. Join our Yammer community to download the Draft Development Community Toolkit and provide feedback to the toolkit authors.


A payments diagnostic toolkit shows countries where to accelerate a digital ecosystem

The webinar about the Draft Ecosystem Diagnostic can help you to conduct a country diagnostic, drawing on the experience of the diagnostics conducted by Bankable Frontier Associates in partnership with the Better Than Cash Alliance. Join our Yammer community to download the Draft  Diagnostic Toolkit and provide feedback to the toolkit authors.


Measuring a cash and electronic payments to see progress later?

Watch the webinar about the Draft Measurement Toolkit to use good-practice, cost-effective approaches for measuring the baseline volumes, values and payment types for each payer-payee combination in the payment grid. Join our Yammer community to download the Draft Measurement Toolkit and provide feedback to the toolkit authors.


Bishar A. Hussein, the director general of the Universal Postal Union (UPU), with Beth Porter, Policy Advisor, Better Than  Cash Alliance. They were meeting at UPU’s Global Forum on using mobile technologies for financial inclusion by post offices.

Photo credit: UPU

India: Finance Minister announces that all national benefit schemes will be made by electronic transfer from April

How ‪technology can advance women’s economic empowerment:  OECD-UNCDF –BTCA article

Over 1.7 billion females do not own mobiles phones in low and middle-income countries, according to GSMA's latest Connected Women 2015 report

Eight trends - mostly digital - that will impact ‪financial inclusion in 2015 by AFI's John Owens

UNCDF’S MM4P event on reaching rural areas with digital financial services

IMF’s Public Finance Management blog - Ruth Goodwin-Groen on digital payments in Mexico

GSMA's 2014 State of the Industry  report shows active mobile money customers increased by over 40% to 100 million in 2014

#MWC15 is the Twitter hashtag for GSMA's Mobile World Congress 2015, 2-5 March 2015, Barcelona, Spain. 

Mia Overall from the Better Than Cash Alliance will speak about digitization  of payments in the supply chain  during the Global Herfinance convening of the Business for Social Responsibility, March 10, 2015, Hong Kong

2015 spring meetings of the World Bank, April 17-19, Washington D.C.

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