The Government of India has taken a step closer to becoming a cashless economy by joining the Better Than Cash Alliance, a United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) initiative that helps enable countries transition to electronic payments.
“India’s leadership and progress are inspirational for countries around the world,” said Dr. Ruth Goodwin-Groen, Managing Director of the Better Than Cash Alliance. “By making the digitization of payments to achieve financial inclusion a top priority, the Indian Government is showing its commitment to improving the lives of its people and driving inclusive growth.”
The Alliance is a partnership of governments, companies, and international organizations that accelerates the switch from cash to digital payments to reduce poverty and drive inclusive growth. It aims to help people who lack access to formal financial services such as bank accounts, and who often subsist almost entirely in an informal, cash-only economy.
The Indian Government’s new relationship with the Alliance complements its own financial inclusion programme, Pradhan Mantri Jan-Dhan Yojana (PMJDY), which, according to Finance Minister Arun Jaietley, has been instrumental in bringing many families into the formal financial system.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi will join other world leaders at the UN summit later this month to launch the Sustainable Development Goals. Financing for development, which includes digital financial services, is a key means of implementation for the Goals. Advocates hope India’s membership of the Better Than Cash Alliance will inspire other governments to harness the power of digital payments as a strategy for achieving the Goals.