01 October 2016
Find out more

Digital payments crucial to economic growth - World Bank report

28 August 2014  |  14037 views  |  0 Africa

Governments should step up efforts to boost the use of digital payments in developing countries to increase financial inclusion, empower women and spur economic growth, according to a World Bank report.

More than 2.5 billion adults around the world, and 59% of those in developing economies, do not have a formal bank account, making it harder to alleviate inequality and spur economic growth.

But with the mobile phone revolution in full swing, a new World Bank Development Research Group report, sponsored by the Better than Cash Alliance and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, argues that there is growing evidence that digital payments and remittances can play a key role in bringing banking services to these people.

"Rapid development and extension of digital platforms and digital payments can provide the speed, security, transparency, and cost efficiency needed to increase financial inclusion at the scale required to achieve G20 [financial inclusion] goals," says the report.

The report will be discussed at a G20 meeting next month and calls on members of the group to push for specific measures to spur non-cash payments. Chief among these is the digitisation of government payments and receipts to create a foundation upon which the private sector can build. Governments should also look to create favourable regulatory regimes that encourage competition and to work with the private sector to build technical platforms on which services can be built.

Geoffrey Lamb, chief economic and policy advisor to co-chairs and CEO of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, says: "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."

Comments: (0)

Comment on this story (membership required)

Finextra news in your inbox

For Finextra's free daily newsletter, breaking news flashes and weekly jobs board: sign up now

Related stories

Gates to venture back into the land of the dinosaurs at Sibos

Gates to venture back into the land of the dinosaurs at Sibos

09 April 2014  |  6228 views  |  0 comments | 11 tweets | 6 linkedin
World Bank calls for payments deregulation to boost remittance flows

World Bank calls for payments deregulation to boost remittance flows

23 November 2012  |  8702 views  |  2 comments | 17 tweets | 6 linkedin
Unbanked hungry for mobile money - study

Unbanked hungry for mobile money - study

23 October 2012  |  11136 views  |  0 comments | 16 tweets | 14 linkedin
Mobiles to bank the unbanked

Mobiles to bank the unbanked

28 June 2011  |  9072 views  |  0 comments
Gates Foundation sets up $10m fund for mobile money in Haiti

Gates Foundation sets up $10m fund for mobile money in Haiti

09 June 2010  |  7018 views  |  0 comments

Related blogs

Create a blog about this story (membership required)
Visit dh.comVisit contisgroup.comFind out more

Top topics

Most viewed Most shared
Ripple rudely gatecrashes Sibos partyRipple rudely gatecrashes Sibos party
11258 views comments | 35 tweets | 33 linkedin
BNP Paribas is working with clients on blockchain deploymentBNP Paribas is working with clients on blo...
8208 views comments | 15 tweets | 31 linkedin
Banks ready for real-world blockchainBanks ready for real-world blockchain
7193 views comments | 22 tweets | 29 linkedin
PayPal and Lenovo team on biometric authentication for laptopsPayPal and Lenovo team on biometric authen...
6839 views comments | 13 tweets | 16 linkedin
Distributed ledger technology could damage financial market integration - ECBDistributed ledger technology could damage...
6333 views comments | 15 tweets | 10 linkedin