The king is (not) dead: Why digital payments are not replacing cash

Globally, the financial inclusion agenda has focused on migrating consumers, providers and governments to digital payment instruments, in a bid to reduce the cost of payments and to allow for the digitisation of other services for which payments are required (e.g. savings, credit and insurance). However, despite the increasing focus on and availability of digital or electronic payments, very few adult consumers in the six MAP countries are using digital instruments to meet their payment needs and cash remains the preferred payments options.

Cenfri's Hennie Bester elaborates:  

 

Note 5 of the MAP Global Insight Series seeks to understand why consumers still use cash, despite the availability of digital payment instruments and despite the energetic advocacy efforts for the adoption of digital options. In doing so, it introduces the different types of payments for which people require payment instruments, and estimates the proportion of these payment needs that are satisfied through the use of cash rather than digital instruments. Further it analyses why cash is ultimately preferred to digital, but also demonstrates where digital payments are gaining ground. Finally, there are suggestions for why digital payment providers are struggling to respond in a manner that will migrate more cash payments to digital channels, and discussion of the implications for providers, policymakers and donors.

The MAP Global Insights series attempt to consolidate and synthesise the learnings from the first six MAP pilot countries which have been conducted in Thailand, Myanmar, Swaziland, Mozambique, Lesotho and Malawi.

Additional Info

  • Country: Mozambique, Swaziland, Malawi, Lesotho, Global, France
  • Institution: Cenfri, FinMark Trust, UNCDF
  • Date Published: 2016
  • Document Type: Synthesis Documents
  • Author/s: Christine Hougaard, Hennie Bester, Jeremy Gray, David Saunders, Albert van der Linden
 

The king is (not) dead: Why digital payments are not replacing cash

Globally, the financial inclusion agenda has focused on migrating consumers, providers and governments to digital payment instruments, in a bid to reduce the cost of payments and to allow for the digitisation of other services for which payments are required (e.g. savings, credit and insurance). However, despite the increasing focus on and availability of digital or electronic payments, very few adult consumers in the six MAP countries are using digital instruments to meet their payment needs and cash remains the preferred payments options.

Cenfri's Hennie Bester elaborates:  

 

Note 5 of the MAP Global Insight Series seeks to understand why consumers still use cash, despite the availability of digital payment instruments and despite the energetic advocacy efforts for the adoption of digital options. In doing so, it introduces the different types of payments for which people require payment instruments, and estimates the proportion of these payment needs that are satisfied through the use of cash rather than digital instruments. Further it analyses why cash is ultimately preferred to digital, but also demonstrates where digital payments are gaining ground. Finally, there are suggestions for why digital payment providers are struggling to respond in a manner that will migrate more cash payments to digital channels, and discussion of the implications for providers, policymakers and donors.

The MAP Global Insights series attempt to consolidate and synthesise the learnings from the first six MAP pilot countries which have been conducted in Thailand, Myanmar, Swaziland, Mozambique, Lesotho and Malawi.

Additional Info

  • Country: Mozambique, Swaziland, Malawi, Lesotho, Global, France
  • Institution: Cenfri, FinMark Trust, UNCDF
  • Date Published: 2016
  • Document Type: Synthesis Documents
  • Author/s: Christine Hougaard, Hennie Bester, Jeremy Gray, David Saunders, Albert van der Linden