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India Joins Better than Cash Alliance
Sep 07, 2015

India joins the United Nations’ Better than Cash Alliance for Digitization of Payments to Achieve Financial Inclusion and to Share Success Stories from PMJDY,The World’s Largest Financial Inclusion Programme.  This announcement comes on the First Anniversary Indian Government’s flagship financial inclusion programme Pradhan Mantri Jan-Dhan Yojana (PMJDY).

  • The new partnership with the Better than Cash Alliance, made up of Governments, companies, and international organizations, is an extension of Indian Government’s commitment to reduce cash in its economy.

  • Digital financial services lower the cost of providing financial services and make it more convenient for poor people to access their accounts.

  • India’s announcement comes ahead of United Nations Special Summit in New York, when Prime Minister Narendra Modi and other world leaders will launch the adopted Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

  • Digital financial services are a key tool for the implementation of the goals, and advocates hope India’s leadership inspires other governments to harness the power of digital payments as a strategy for achieving the SDGs.

Dr. Ruth Goodwin-Groen, Managing Director of the Better than Cash Alliance said that India’s leadership and progress are inspirational for countries around the world. He said that 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.

  • Under PMJDY, in one year, about 180 million new accounts have been opened, with deposits totaling more than $3.4 billion (223 billion Rupees).

  • PMJDY has been instrumental in bringing almost all families of the country into the formal financial system and enabling citizens at grassroots level to perform financial transactions and keep their hard-earned money safe.

  • One year ago, the Government of India had announced PMJDY with a goal of covering every household with a bank account in less than five months’ time.

  • PMJDY focuses on citizens excluded from the formal financial sector, including women, small farmers, and labourers. To ensure that these accounts are actively used, the Government is delivering financial products, such as credit for economic activity, as well as remittance facilities, insurance, and pension directly into the accounts.

  • PMJDY, along with Aaadhar Biometric Unique Identity cards that make it easier for the Government to identify social benefit recipients and the widespread use of mobile phones, are driving financial inclusion in India.

  • It is also resulting in cost savings. The fuel subsidy programme, which is the world’s largest cash transfer programme, saved $2 billion (131 billion Rupees) by paying cooking gas consumers directly into their bank accounts.

Better Than Cash Alliance: The Better than Cash Alliance is a partnership of Governments, companies, and international organizations that accelerates the transition from cash to digital payments in order to reduce poverty and drive inclusive growth. The United Nations Capital Development Fund serves as the secretariat. 

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