The Better Than Cash Alliance has achieved some exciting milestones in the last month: a highly successful roundtable event at the World Economic Forum in Davos, a new committing government, a new cashless procurement system adopted in the Philippines, and a new law passed in Peru allowing residents to make electronic payments via mobile phones.
At the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Davos, Switzerland, the Better Than Cash Alliance hosted a roundtable discussion on the global movement to transition from cash to electronic payments. The discussion included Juan Jiménez Mayor, Prime Minister, Republic of Peru; Dr. Mauricio Cárdenas, Minister of Finance, Republic of Colombia; Florencio B. Abad, Secretary of Budget and Management, Republic of the Philippines - all of whom are members of the Alliance - and was moderated by Zanny Minton Beddoes, Economics Editor from The Economist. In addition the Chairman of SWIFT, the Executive Director of the World Food Programme and the CEO of Mercy Corps participated in the roundtable. The room was packed full of 65 thought leaders who shared powerful ideas and strategies for shifting the world to electronic payments including:
One point made by every participant was that electronic payments can reduce costs to both payer and payee bringing great benefits. The event was covered by Peter Coy from Bloomberg/Businessweek who wrote an interesting story.
Last month, the Alliance welcomed the government of Afghanistan as its newest member. The government of Afghanistan has already made substantial progress in transitioning from cash to electronic payments though many challenges remain. For instance, at the end of 2012, more than 70 percent of Afghanistan government employees received their salaries electronically, whereas in 2006 this was less than 1 percent. Afghanistan joins 11 other governments and organizations in a commitment to transition from cash to electronic payments. Read more about Afghanistan’s commitment to the Alliance.
We were also pleased to see the tremendous progress in the transition from cash to electronic payments in the Philippines and Peru. The Philippine government recently launched a system called the Philgeps Virtual Store, through which agencies can buy supplies online, without using cash. Budget Secretary Abad described the system as “a groundbreaking feat for the Philippine bureaucracy.” Read more about the new system in the Philippines. In Peru, President Ollanta Humala passed a law that regulates the use of a new electronic currency system which allows residents to make payments, money transfers and other operations through mobile phones. Read more about this new law in Peru.
We look forward to more progress and success for the Alliance in the coming months. For additional information about our work, please visit www.BetterThanCash.org.