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The Ladder

A Blog from New America's Asset Building Program

Electronic Payments, Going Cashless, and Social Protection: A Podcast Interview with the UNDP and Citi

Published:  June 26, 2012

With a growing consensus that financial inclusion and asset building can help reduce poverty, along with cost-saving breakthroughs in payment technologies such as mobiles and biometric IDs, the potential of financial innovation to cost-effectively enhance the impact of social protection is increasingly hard to ignore.

In this podcast, the Global Assets Project (GAP) focused in on the world of electronic payments (e-payments), going cashless, and social protection. To understand where and how the transition to e-payments is taking place, we interviewed Sahba Sobhani who manages the Growing Inclusive Markets Initiative of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and Jorge Rubio Nava, director of microfinance at Citi. The UNDP alone deals with USD 1 billion worth of cash transfers and is leading the charge in the transition to e-payments through the Better than Cash Alliance. In this podcast, listen to Sahba discuss the UNDP’s leading role in this advocacy campaign for aid organizations, NGOs and governments, among others, to transition to cashless payments. In addition, Jorge will discuss what new payment technologies and going cashless mean for financial inclusion efforts and how public-private partnerships can be leveraged to understand the dynamics of unbanked individuals in the savings product development process.

Listen here:

This podcast is the first of a two part series on technology, financial innovation, and protecting the poor. The next podcast in this series features a discussion with Sarah Rotman (CGAP) and Dorcas Robinson (CARE) on key facets of both formal and informal savings products and how they factor into social protection programs. For more on these topics, check out the live event we recently held featuring Sahba, Jorge, Sarah, and Dorcas titled "Protecting the Poor through Financial Innovation". You'll find video of the event here and a summary of the main takeaways here.

You can also check out GAP's newly released interactive data website, on Global Savings and Social Protection (GSSP).

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