Why digitizing money provides a big opportunity for Africa.

A new report by the World Bank points to an emerging solution to the challenges of cash money:Governments in Africa should lead the way toward digitizing much more of the money in their economies. The World Bank’s evidence shows that digital payment systems, enabled by the recent rapid spread of technology into the hands of even very poor people, can deliver security, convenience, and affordability to expand financial inclusion on the scale needed to achieve the G20’s goals. At the same time digitization can deliver the standards of transparency and traceability of money transfer services which governments and regulators increasingly require.
When made electronically, payroll or social benefit payments can give women in emerging markets access to the first account in their own name and under their control. Opening an account, with the confidentiality and convenience it provides, can be an important step for women entrepreneurs, and vital assurance for women entering employment in factories or service industries.
Digital financial services can also lead to significant cost savings. The Better Than Cash Alliance estimates that Mexico is saving $1.27 billion annually by shifting wages, pensions, and social welfare to digital payments.

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