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United States : Digital Payments Vital To Economic Growth

August 28, 2014

Integrating digital payments into the economies of emerging and developing nations addresses crucial issues of broad economic growth and individual financial empowerment, according to a new report by the World Bank Development Research Group.

The report examines, for the first time, growing evidence from around the world about how digital payments offer immediate benefits for both senders and receivers in developing economies, as well as the ability of such payments to increase citizen access to affordable financial tools.

The report also highlights how digital payments help increase the financial independence of women by moving them from the limitations of a cash-only economy and connecting them with the financial mainstream.

Furthermore, the report concludes that the establishment of digital payments for remittances instead of cash is of enormous benefit to poor people in emerging markets and also contributes to financial development. This could also help address concerns about the transparency and traceability of remittances.

The benefits of digital payments go well beyond the convenience many people in developed economies associate with the technology, said Dr. Leora Klapper, Lead Economist at the World Bank Development Research Group. Digital financial services lower the cost and increase the security of sending, paying and receiving money. The resulting increase in financial inclusion is also vital to women s empowerment.

The Better than Cash Alliance and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation which funded the study in support of the G20 Global Partnership for Financial Inclusion emphasized the clear link between digital payments and the goals of G20 governments means that action should be swift and purposeful. The two organizations are urging governments, when they meet in November 2014 at the G20 Brisbane Summit, to discuss how they can embrace a broad-based digital financial system as a path to growth, greater participation of women in the economy, and greater access to payments, including remittances.

"Governments have to take the lead and drive digital financial development forward, said Geoffrey Lamb, Chief Economic and Policy Advisor to the Co-Chairs and CEO of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The evidence shows that private sector firms will innovate and citizens will quickly learn to use and appreciate digital payments. But we need governments to establish the vision, the digital platforms and the regulatory assurance to pull the hundreds of millions of currently excluded people into full participation in the modern economy."

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Source: TendersInfo (India)

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