Better Than Cash Alliance

The Better than Cash Alliance is a multi-donor initiative housed by the United Nations. It is an important advisory body to its member governments, the private sector, international organizations and the G-20. It provides a responsible change from cash to digital payments if the benefits of the digital way go beyond the benefits of cash.

Land/Region Periode Budget
01.11.2021 - 31.12.2024
CHF  2’000’000

With the Covid-19 pandemic restricting people’s physical mobility and the use of cash for economic transactions, the development of electronic payments for effective public service delivery and business continuity has strongly gained in importance. While the digitization of cash has been growing over the years, the pandemic is a powerful reminder that electronic payments remain underdeveloped in most countries and need to be accelerated. The pandemic has also clearly demonstrated the limits of cash and could also apply to any future events in which it is difficult to reach people such as in the case of natural disasters.


The overall goal is that digital payments translate into building an inclusive digital economy that contributes to the Sustainable Development Goals, leading to reduced poverty and inequality, greater financial inclusion, efficiency, transparency, security and women’s economic participation. This will be achieved through 1) payers gaining the benefits of digital payments, including cost savings, increased transparency and efficiency, 2) an improved digital payments ecosystem that is inclusive, competitive, responsible and economically sustainable and 3) payees gain the benefits of digital payments including cost savings, increased transparency and financial inclusion.

Mittelfristige Wirkungen

The primary outcome is the launch and scale of digitization initiatives in a responsible way and consistent with G20 principles, leading to a substantial increase in the number and value of payments made digitally. This will be measured by the number and value of payments digitized, number of accounts (gender disaggregated), as well as number of non-members having launched digitization related initiatives.

The intermediate outcomes are the buy-in and implementation of payments digitization initiatives. This is measured by the number of members’ digitization initiatives continuing after completion, number of governments including digitization in their strategies due to the Alliance’s contribution as well as number of members having changed policies to move from cash to digital.


Erwartete Resultate:  

The outputs to achieve the outcomes are:

(i) building member capabilities and support implementation plans (governments, corporations and international development organizations): this will be measured by the number of government and corporate members receiving support from the Alliance that implemented a recommendation, commitment or learning from the Alliance and the number of workshops led by members supported by the Alliance.

(ii) having digitization on the agendas of global, regional, national and other stakeholders: this will be measured by the number of global and regional agendas, where digitization is included due to the Alliance’s contribution, number of government members including digitization on their priorities, number of corporates making a formal commitment to digitize payments as well as number of communication placements.

Resultate von früheren Phasen:  

The Alliance exists since 2012 and has achieved a lot over this time, mainly by bringing digital payments on the global agenda. Over the past two years of the three-year cycle the Alliance has supported governments with their digital payments strategies. More specifically: 11 governments’/corporate members’ payment digitization initiatives supported by the Alliance were extended after completion- 20 government/corporate members have changed policies/regulations to move from cash towards digitization with the Alliance’s contribution. Over USD 25 million in payments were digitized within priority government and corporate member payments digitization initiatives for a value of 1 billion USD- the number of women-owned accounts sending/receiving digital payments made up more than 50% of the total number of accounts. There are many more results achieved. SECO has so far not provided support to the Alliance's work or budget.

Verantwortliche Direktion/Bundesamt SECO
Budget Laufende Phase Schweizer Beitrag CHF    2’000’000 Bereits ausgegebenes Schweizer Budget CHF    0 Budget inklusive Projektpartner CHF    27’417’000
Projektphasen Phase 1 01.11.2021 - 31.12.2024   (Laufende Phase)