Much Of The Globe Already Knows This Secret About Cash. But Don't Be Jealous Because Here It Is...

I've been taking my bank account for granted.

I have a quiz for you. And you're going to learn why cash ain't all it's cracked up to be.

Provided are some VERY SUBTLE clues to help you out.

Question 1: How much of the world does not have access to an account to store or save their money?

Answer: Half.

How are you doing so far? Got it right? Keep going! Did you get it wrong? Keep going!

Question 2: In Myanmar, what proportion of farmers live with debts to shady lenders?

Answer: Two-thirds. Why so many? Because when you can't get a loan from a reputable institution, you turn to anyone who will lend you money.

You're doing so great!

Question 3: How many people in India have a bank account?

Answer: 1 out of 3.

More than halfway home!

Question 4: How many people in Africa have a bank account?

Answer: 1 in 4.

How are these clues working for you? Helpful?

Question 5: How many mobile connections are there in the developing world?

Answer: 5.7 billion. Whoa.

OK, what does this have to do with cash? And why were you forced to take this quiz?

Because it's important to understand that people without a reliable way to store and transfer money (like a bank account) get taken advantage of. They are forced to borrow from insecure lenders, they lack the ability to securely pay for things, and they are held back from meaningful participation in their economy. In other words, they are financially excluded.

The answer to that problem is financial inclusion.

Financial inclusion means giving people the tools — whether that's payment systems via cellphone or pre-paid debit cards — to be part of an economy. It means they don't have to rely solely on cash. And that goes for both the developing world and here in America.

Still unsure what we're talking about? Here are 2 minutes that break it down. (No more quizzes. I promise.)

via James Anderson

Two years ago, a tweet featuring the invoice for a fixed boiler went viral because the customer, a 91-year-old woman with leukemia, received the services for free.

"No charge for this lady under any circumstances," the invoice read. "We will be available 24 hours to help her and keep her as comfortable as possible."

The repair was done by James Anderson, 52, a father-of-five from Burnley, England. "James is an absolute star, it was overwhelming to see that it cost nothing," the woman's daughter told CNN.

Keep Reading Show less

I live in a family with various food intolerances. Thankfully, none of them are super serious, but we are familiar with the challenges of finding alternatives to certain foods, constantly checking labels, and asking restaurants about their ingredients.

In our family, if someone accidentally eats something they shouldn't, it's mainly a bit of inconvenient discomfort. For those with truly life-threatening food allergies, the stakes are much higher.

I can't imagine the ongoing stress of deadly allergy, especially for parents trying to keep their little ones safe.

Keep Reading Show less

Handmade cosmetics company Lush is putting its money where its mouth is and taking a bold step for climate change action.

On September 20 in the U.S. and September 27 in Canada, Lush will shut the doors of its 250 shops, e-commerce sites, manufacturing facilities, and headquarters for a day, in solidarity with the Global Climate Strike taking place around the world. Lush is encouraging its 5000+ employees "to join this critical movement and take a stand until global leaders are forced to face the climate crisis and enact change."

Keep Reading Show less
Photo by Annie Bolin on Unsplash

Recent tragic mass shootings in El Paso and Dayton have sparked a lot of conversation and action on the state level over the issue of gun control. But none may be as encouraging as the most recent one, in which 145 CEOs signed a letter urging the U.S. Senate to take action at their level.

Keep Reading Show less