Mexico has joined the United Nations’ Better Than Cash Alliance amid a government push to increase financial inclusion and gender equality.

The Alliance, a lobby group for electronic payments, formed in 2012 by development organizations, foundations and private companies including Citi and Visa on the premise that moving to electronic money can help people build savings while giving governments and organizations a “more cost-effective, efficient, transparent, and safer” way to disburse and collect payments.

Initiatives such as the telco-led M-Pesa have shown digital payments can increase financial inclusion and security in developing nations.

“There is a tremendous opportunity for financial inclusion in front of us that we must seize to build on the momentum of the new National Policy on Financial Inclusion,” Luis Videgaray Caso, Mexican finance and public credit minister, said in a news release.

The Mexican government revealed its its National Policy on Financial Inclusion last week, calling for greater financial inclusion through the use of technological innovations countrywide and a shift from cash payments to digital payments. By digitizing just its own payments, it can save $1.3 billion a year, according to research by the Better Than Cash Alliance.

“Integrating digital payment technology across all agencies of Government is key,” Caso added. “The other benefits of efficiency and cost savings are too valuable to ignore."

 

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