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Empowering People One Transaction At A Time: Leading Corporations, Foundations And Development Organizations Form "Better Than Cash Alliance" To Accelerate Global Shift To Electronic Payments

"UNCDF is pleased by the opportunity to serve as secretariat for the Better Than Cash Alliance," said Roth. "Each of the founders played a critical role in bringing the initiative to fruition. USAID convened the founders and many new member governments and NGOs. Visa and Citi have brought invaluable expertise based on their global electronic payments leadership. Ford Foundation has been essential in securing government commitments from Latin America. Omidyar Network's focus on impact investing gave the Alliance the focus on providing the right support to facilitate the transition. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation brought forward a pioneering perspective on the importance of digital payments to expanding financial access."

To encourage other governments, members of the development community and private sector companies to join the Better Than Cash Alliance, founding members of the Alliance will host a global leaders forum — coinciding with the United Nations General Assembly and Clinton Global Initiative on September 24, 2012 in New York. To learn more about the event, visit betterthancash.org.    

About Better Than Cash Alliance

The Better Than Cash Alliance partners with governments, the development community and the private sector to empower people by shifting from cash to electronic payments . The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Citi, Ford Foundation, Omidyar Network, USAID, and Visa Inc. are the founders and The U.N. Capital Development Fund serves as the secretariat. To learn more, visit BetterThanCash.org and follow @BetterThan_Cash.

About the U.N. Capital Development Fund

UNCDF is the UN's capital investment agency for the world's 48 least developed countries. It creates new opportunities for poor people and their small businesses by increasing access to microfinance and investment capital. UNCDF focuses on Africa and the poorest countries of Asia, with a special commitment to countries emerging from conflict or crisis. It provides seed capital – grants and loans – and technical support to help microfinance institutions reach more poor households and small businesses, and local governments finance the capital investments – water systems, feeder roads, schools, irrigation schemes – that will improve poor peoples' lives. UNCDF programmes help to empower women, and are designed to catalyze larger capital flows from the private sector, national governments and development partners, for maximum impact toward the Millennium Development Goals.  

About USAID

The American people, through the U.S. Agency for International Development, have provided economic and humanitarian assistance worldwide for over 50 years.  USAID is proud to serve as a leading convener of public and private sector stakeholders promoting financial inclusion and technology that has the potential for transforming development outcomes.  For more information about USAID and its programs, please visit www.usaid.gov.

About Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Guided by the belief that every life has equal value, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation works to help all people lead healthy, productive lives. In developing countries, it focuses on improving people's health with vaccines and other lifesaving tools and giving them the chance to lift themselves out of hunger and extreme poverty. In the United States, it seeks to significantly improve education so that all young people have the opportunity to reach their full potential. Based in Seattle, Washington, the foundation is led by CEO Jeff Raikes and Co-chair William H. Gates Sr., under the direction of Bill and Melinda Gates and Warren Buffett. To learn more, visit www.gatesfoundation.org. You can also join the conversation on Facebook, Twitter and our blog www.impatientoptimists.org.

About Citi

Citi, the leading global bank, has approximately 200 million customer accounts and does business in more than 160 countries and jurisdictions. Citi provides consumers, corporations, governments and institutions with a broad range of financial products and services, including consumer banking and credit, corporate and investment banking, securities brokerage, transaction services, and wealth management.

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