To more effectively fight poverty around the world, governments should use electronic banking platforms to transfer welfare payments to low-income households, allowing them to manage their resources and save for the future, according to data from the Global Savings and Social Protection Initiative's website being launched today.
The interactive data will be presented at a public event at the New America Foundation on today at 3:30-5 p.m. RSVP or tune into the live webcast of the event here
The website - created by the New America Foundation's Global Assets Project
- shows more governments are helping their poorest citizens via cash payments. Researchers compiled and analyzed data on more than 90 cash transfer programs in 54 developing countries - with more than a half a billion people benefiting.
Most importantly, nearly 70 percent of cash-transfer recipients studied are now able to store their payments in a bank account or on a debit card, a significant change from simply sending cash. In 2009, only 25 percent of recipients received payments in a financially inclusive way. Giving poor citizens access to a bank account and/or debit card could provide them the opportunity save a portion of their payment, along with the comfort of knowing their money is safe.
The website data also highlights that more governments are realizing that shifting to electronic payments is not only cost-effective, quicker, and less prone to corruption, but e-payments provide a valuable platform for helping people move out of poverty.
"For years we have been seeking ways to achieve meaningful financial inclusion of the world's poor. Leveraging increasingly ubiquitous cash-based poverty alleviation programs to provide financial services to this, so far, highly vulnerable and excluded population could be a key to poverty reduction. We hope the new data and analysis of GSSP nurtures this potential," said Jamie Zimmerman
, director of the Global Assets Project at New America Foundation.
For more information on the website or to interview the report's authors, please contact Clara Hogan.
About the Global Savings and Social Protection Initiative
Funded by Ford Foundation, Citi Foundation, CGAP and Nike Foundation, GSSPI was established in 2011 by the Global Assets Project at the New America Foundation to nurture a solutions-oriented environment at the nexus of cash transfers and financial inclusion.