2022 Annual Report - Scaling responsible digital payments to deliver the Sustainable Development Goals, particularly financial equality for women

© ©Shutterstock
2022 Better Than Cash Alliance Annual Report


In 10 years, the Better Than Cash Alliance has spurred a global movement towards the responsible digitization of payments.

The focus of the Alliance Secretariat’s 2022-2024 strategy is to expand responsible digital payments in emerging economies, with a major emphasis on Africa, the private sector, and a focus on women.

The 2022 Annual Report looks at the first year of the new strategy, and how Alliance members are leading the way in moving the world towards increasing digital financial inclusion and Reaching Financial Equality, contributing to the achievement of many of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

In 2022, results and member highlights include:

80% of advisory-funding committed to gender-intentional work.
Member highlight: In Colombia, the government extended the COVID-19 emergency payments scheme ‘Ingreso Solidario’, developed with the Alliance Secretariat, to an additional 1 million households in 2022, reaching a total of 4 million, around 60% women-headed.

25 million new and/or responsible accounts created through or beyond responsible payment digitization initiatives.
Member highlight: In Rwanda, nearly 2.5 million people (51% women) have enrolled in the long-term saving scheme EjoHeza, surpassing the goal of 2 million set by the government for 2024.

20M In Ethiopia, over 20 million new mobile money accounts were opened during 2021-2022.

Alliance member governments are scaling responsible digitization in their countries.
Member highlight: In Ethiopia, the Alliance Secretariat works alongside the government to implement the National Digital Payments Strategy. Over 20 million new mobile money accounts were opened during 2021-2022. Today, over 40 million mobile money accounts are active in the country. The digitization of agriculture payments with the Ethiopia Tea and Coffee Authority has also been introduced as a result of the strategy implementation.

More than a dozen of members adopted and implemented strategies and policies that incorporate the UN Principles for Responsible Digital Payments.
Member highlight: The Government of Bangladesh is implementing the National Digital Payments Roadmap 2022-2025 which prioritizes women’s financial equality and the use of sex-disaggregated data. Senegal’s Agence de la Couverture Maladie Universelle (ACMU) launched its Digital Transformation Strategy, drafted with the Alliance, with the goal to include the entire population into universal healthcare by 2030.

Partners such as the African Union and the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Secretariat have made a commitment to responsible digital payments, and are partnering with the Alliance Secretariat on accelerating the financial inclusion of 1.4 billion people in Africa. The Alliance Secretariat is now leading the Financial Inclusion cluster of the Women and Youth Financial and Economic Inclusion Initiative by the African Union Commission.

The Alliance is working with corporate members to expand the responsible digitization of payments in supply chains. This includes expanding digitization to Hindustan Unilever’s entire network of 160,000 Shakti women entrepreneurs in India, where approximately 90,000 women are already using digital tools. In Ghana, the Alliance is working with the Ghana Cocoa Board (Cocobod), to digitize the entire cocoa sector, with a gender-intentional lens to prioritize women farmers. The Alliance is committed to ensuring that the digitization of payments in supply chains is done in a responsible way, which prioritizes the financial inclusion of smallholder farmers.