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India joins the global push to bring digital cash to the poor
The world’s second most populous country, India, has joined a global initiative to bring digital money to emerging economies.
The initiative is called the Better Than Cash Alliance and it is backed by a group of development organisations, foundations and private firms like Citi and Visa.
The idea is to bring digital money and financial services to countries like India where the vast majority its impoverished population are unbanked.
This mission chimes well with the Indian government’s financial inclusion program; an ambitious effort led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to make sure every Indian household is covered with a bank account in a matter of months.
The government - which is targeting those people who typically do not hold accounts: women, small farmers, and laborers - claims it has helped see 175 million new accounts opened with deposits of more than $3.4 billion.
By joining the alliance, the government says it will have access new research, technology, and policy partners as it seeks to exploit new ways of shifting the population toward banking a electronic payments.
Which is no doubt fantastic for India’s rural poor, but even better news for the people they will be banking with.
Photo: Sistak via Flickr