September 16, 2019

Diginomics Grows: Days of Cash Limited as Digital Payments Increase

ApplePay_reversed“Apple is betting that consumers want an even more convenient way to pay in person,” reports TechCrunch.com in its October 11 posting. “Apple Pay should provide digital currency (like Bitcoin) with a boost — it could be the killer app that digital currency has been waiting for.”

Indeed, cash is slipping in its position as “king” of currencies when comes to preferred payment systems. Latest stats on electronic payments usage versus cash withdrawals at ATM machines shows an increase in the former and a steady drop in the latter. A growing number of global surveys on the subject show a universal decline in the use of cash, replaced by a consistent rise in digital, online payments. “Integrating digital payments into the economies of emerging and developing nations addresses crucial issues of broad economic growth and individual financial empowerment,” announces the latest global report from the World Bank Development Research Group.

“Gates Foundation and Better Than Cash Alliance urge governments to embrace digital financial services, offers concrete action steps” is the opening sub-headline to the report. “Already, the governments of Peru, Kenya, Colombia, and the Philippines, along with global NGOs Mercy Corps, CARE and Concern Worldwide, have committed to digitize their disbursements and payments to people living in poverty, thereby becoming eligible members for technical and financial support from the Better Than Cash Alliance,” the Gates Foundation announced in a Sept. 19, 2012 press release.

“We know that electronic payments can empower people and help grow emerging economies,” said Christine Roth, Deputy Executive Secretary of the U.N. Capital Development Fund, which serves as the secretariat for the Better Than Cash Alliance. “Yet, while there are many benefits in shifting away from cash, the effort requires leadership, resources and technical expertise. By offering these services to governments, private sector and development community organizations, we believe we can accelerate the shift to electronic payments.” (Emphasis added)