WSBI contributes its expertise to the Better Than Cash Alliance in shifting cash to electronic payments

January 28, 2014

In joining the Better Than Cash Alliance, the World Savings and Retail Banking Institute will work to increase the number of electronic transactions undertaken throughout its global membership as well as share research on the lessons learned

New York, 28 January 2014 – Today, the World Savings and Retail Banking Institute (WSBI) announced that it is joining the Better Than Cash Alliance. As part of its commitment to joining the Alliance, WSBI pledged to expand the number of electronic transactions within its network, which is expected over time to result in a reduction in the proportion of cash transactions undertaken. WSBI’s primary goals in migrating to digital disbursements are to increase outreach and drive down costs so as to offer more accessible and affordable services to lower income segments whilst at the same time maintaining a sustainable business model.

WSBI Managing Director Chris De Noose said, “Promoting financial inclusion is part of our heritage and remains core to our mission today. As we are striving towards full financial access, WSBI is delighted to have been invited to join the Better Than Cash Alliance. We will be pleased to share the extensive experience of our international network in developing digital services and at the same time learn from other initiatives around the world to the benefit of our membership and the communities they serve.”

Two and a half billion adults — more than half the world’s adult population — are excluded from the formal financial sector. This is most acute in the developing world where approximately 80% of poor people are excluded. As a result, most poor households have no option but to subsist almost entirely in an informal, cash-only economy. Electronic payments can create lasting benefits for people by creating opportunities to access formal financial services, develop assets and save for the future. They can also help to overcome the challenges faced by banks in offering usable services both to urban and rural communities at an affordable price.

The Better Than Cash Alliance is an alliance of governments, private sector, and development organizations committed to a global movement away from cash to electronic payments and provides resources to those who commit to make the transition.

“We are delighted that WSBI has joined the Better Than Cash Alliance and we commend them for leading by example when it comes to moving away from cash to electronic payments,” said Ruth Goodwin-Groen, Managing Director of the Better Than Cash Alliance. “We look forward to working with WSBI to catalyse its shift away from cash and welcome their active contribution to knowledge sharing amongst the Better Than Cash Alliance members.”

WSBI joins the governments of Afghanistan, Colombia, Kenya, Malawi, Peru and the Philippines, along with development organizations the United Nations Development Programme, USAID, the World Food Programme, as well as ACDI/VOCA, CARE USA, Chemonics International, Concern Worldwide, Grameen Foundation, MEDA, and Mercy Corps, which have committed to digitise their payments, thereby becoming eligible members for technical and financial support from the Better Than Cash Alliance.

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About Better Than Cash Alliance

The Better Than Cash Alliance partners with governments, the development community and the private sector to empower people by shifting from cash to electronic payments. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Citi, Ford Foundation, MasterCard, Omidyar Network, USAID and Visa Inc. fund the Better Than Cash Alliance and the U.N. Capital Development Fund serves as its secretariat. To learn more, visit www.betterthancash.org and follow @BetterThan_Cash.

About the World Savings and Retail Banking Institute

WSBI brings together approximately 7,000 savings and retail banks from 90 countries around the globe, representing its members’ interests at an international level. As a global organisation, WSBI focuses on issues of global importance affecting the banking industry and works closely with international financial institutions. It supports the aims of the G20 in achieving sustainable, inclusive and balanced growth and job creation around the world, whether in industrialised or less developed countries. WSBI favours an inclusive form of globalisation that is just and fair, supporting international efforts to advance financial access and financial usage for everyone. It supports a diversified range of financial services that responsibly meet customers’ transaction, saving and borrowing needs. For more information, visit www.wsbi.org.

Contacts:

Better Than Cash Alliance

Ms Sarah Bel

Communications Specialist

sarah.bel@uncdf.org

+1 212 906 5573

World Savings and Retail Banking Institute

Dirk Smet

Communications Manager

Dirk.Smet@WSBI-ESBG.org

+32 2 211 11 90