Cash is increasingly preferred as the relief item of choice by international aid agencies who have come to realise that it is cheaper, quicker, safer, more accountable, and confers more dignity on the recipient than imposing relief commodities on them, some of which they neither want nor need.
But when they say ‘cash’, what type of ‘cash’ are they referring to? Mobile wallets? Electronic vouchers? Banknotes?
The trend is clearly in favour of electronic payments over physical currency. But is this realistic in the context of natural disasters or conflict?
The CashEssentials Cash and Crises portal is designed to offer aid agencies a closer look into the payments landscape, its stakeholders, and more specifically, the overall cash cycle. The content focuses on lesser known issues related to cash and its management, from the actual cost of various types of transactions, to the role of central banks in crisis situations; the unintended consequences of mobile payments; how foreign exchange works, and more.
The material provided here is based on data and official interviews with a diverse range of banking and cash management officials. It is designed to provide bite-size content to better understand the mechanisms of the payments industry and the vital role that cash, in all its forms, plays within it.