Melanie Zimmerman, SVP at TransUnion (picture), told us an inspiring story #BIIA2017 about an initiative in India that signed up 95% of the population, many of them illiterate, with a 12-digit ID number via their mobile phones, which automatically included a bank account, and the chance to buy life insurance (for $5/year).

So now the government has a population count, and contact information, and many rural poor have access to credit and other financial resources for the first time. This, it turns out, was the background for Mohdi’s sudden elimination of large currency bills last year. It helped move the country toward a more transparent cashless economy. There are one billion mobile phones in a country that has 1.3 billion people.

Posted by Ruth Stevens,  BIIA Director