Business News of 2014-08-08

Replace cash with electronic payments — BTCA advises

The Better Than Cash Alliance (BTCA), a group of governmental and international finance and business organisations, has urged governments and businesses to promote the transition from cash payments to electronic, since it contributes substantially to cost reduction.

The Government and Corporate Specialist for the alliance, Mr Tidar Wald, made the call in an interview with the Daily Graphic at a recent meeting of the 2nd West Africa Microfinance Conference in Accra.

He said electronic payments through the use of phone or card was becoming increasingly common because markets and individuals were seeking to become efficient in the use of new technologies.

“This is because it is safer and reduces opportunity for fraud,” he said.

He said with electronic payments, speed was also a factor as it reduced the long wait for the much-needed relief dramatically.

According to him, receiving or sending money electronically encourages the culture of savings, as it allows people to withdraw only or receive part of their money they really need; unlike cash payments where the likelihood for one to spend all the money at a go is very real.

Furthermore, he said, electronic payments allowed for financial inclusion in the sense that it gave people the opportunity to keep accounts into which moneys would be transferred.

Mr Wald said BTCA was raising awareness of the benefits of electronic payments because of the immense benefits to governments, the development community and the private sector.

For these groups, he said, there would be an enhancement in the distribution of government benefits, transparency in humanitarian aid, payroll and cost to suppliers when they became committed to the transition from cash to electronic payments.

“Digitising payroll and emerging market supplier payments can reduce transaction costs, increase transparency and efficiency and offer organisations an opportunity to empower people.

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