Summary of The Opportunities of Digitizing Payments

How Digitization of Payments, Transfers, and Remittances Contributes to the G20 Goals of Broad-Based Economic Growth, Financial Inclusion, and Women’s Economic Empowerment

World Bank,

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The Opportunities of Digitizing Payments summary
Setting up digital payment programs in developing markets presents both opportunities and challenges.


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In the digital age, a cashless society seems on the horizon for many developed markets. But in developing countries, cash remains king. People in these nations must rely on inefficient postal systems, crooked local officials and expensive methods of transfer to get their wages or other disbursements. This study from World Bank researchers Leora Klapper and Dorothe Singer provides an enlightening look at how moving from cash to electronic payments can help disadvantaged populations in low-income countries. getAbstract recommends this timely report to anyone interested in reaching new consumers in emerging markets.

In this summary, you will learn

  • Why cash remains the dominant form of payment in developing countries,
  • How electronic payments would improve the lives of individuals in these countries and save governments money, and
  • What the public and the private sectors can do to encourage digital payment systems.


Cash is the most common form of payment for developing countries’ inhabitants, many of whom receive wages, state payments and overseas remittances in cash. Only 46% of men and 37% of women in these nations hold bank accounts, and for the poor, having an account is much less likely. Digital payment systems...
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About the Authors

Leora Klapper and Dorothe Singer work in the development research group at the World Bank.

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