The ‘Smart Coffee ID Card’ launched in 2006 by the Colombian Coffee Growers Federation (FNC) “has become a vital tool for financial inclusion and change in Colombia’s rural sector,” according to the Better Than Cash Alliance (BTCA), a United Nations alliance of governments, companies and the development community committed to the global transition from cash to electronic payments.
According to a BTCA study, the Smart Coffee ID Card has evolved to become an important tool for the FNC, which represents more than 500,000 coffee growers in Colombia, and the coffee growing families it serves.
The results of the study were presented at a seminar in Bogota on digital payments co-hosted by BTCA and the Colombian government. “Without the Smart Coffee ID Card, FNC initiatives to combat climate change – such as encouraging growers to plant more productive, coffee leaf rust-resistant trees and implementing ambitious plant renovation programmes to improve yields – would have been impossible to develop,” said Julian Medina, FNC’s Chief Financial Officer.
“Today, the Smart Coffee ID not only facilitates easy, fast payments to growers, but it allows growers to develop a bank history so that they can access credit lines and obtain preferential terms. As part of an ongoing effort focussing on banking as a tool for change, and to extend the benefits of the card to producers, the FNC and its partner bank, Banco de Bogotá, have associated the Smart Coffee ID with a savings account. The account offers a debit card which farmers can use in all available networks nationwide to withdraw cash at ATMs or make purchases through electronic payments.”