Our Staff Writers and Editors offer insights on the latest news, events, interviews and other happenings from the development through enterprise and base of the pyramid universes
Tuesday, March 31, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Rwanda: Airtel to Give Clients Soft Loans

Source: allAfrica

A micro-money lending platform whereby subscribers will be able to borrow up to Rwf50,000 payable in two weeks has been launched by telecom services provider, Airtel Rwanda and Atlantis Limited, a micro-finance institution.
Tuesday, March 24, 2015 — South Asia

Viewpoint: To Reach India’s Rural Poor, Why Not Try Television Banking?

Source: Business Line

The Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana (PMJDY) was envisioned to provide universal financial inclusion to rural and urban households. The mission includes not only providing universal banking access to all households but also micro-insurance. The government and commercial banks have accomplished the remarkable feat of opening 12.8 crore accounts within the last six months. While this is a laudable achievement, a number of issues related to servicing these accounts, mostly in remote and far-flung areas, may need to be addressed.
Tuesday, March 24, 2015 — No Region Specified

Press Release: Mobile Money Market Worth $78.02 Billion by 2019

Source: PR Newswire

According to a new market research report "Mobile Money Market by Transaction Mode, Nature of Payment, Location, Type of Purchase, & by Industry (BFSI, Telecom & IT, Media & Entertainment, Healthcare, Retail, Travel & Hospitality, Transportation & Logistics, Others) - Global Forecast to 2019", published by MarketsandMarkets, Mobile Money Market is expected to grow from$12.34 Billion in 2014 to $78.02 Billion by 2019, at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 44.6% during the forecast period from 2014 to 2019.
Monday, March 16, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Inside MTN Mobile Money Saga in Uganda

Source: The Independent

Mobile money services in Uganda are coming under scrutiny and what is emerging is troubling. At the centre of the saga in which President Yoweri Museveni is personally involved, is Uganda’s biggest telecom operator, MTN, which is battling several allegations of fraud, and suits and counter suits in the courts.
Monday, March 16, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Airtel Now Rolls Out Cross Border Mobile Money Service Between DRC, Zambia, and Rwanda

Source: The Maravi Post

Bharti Airtel, the leading global telecommunications services provider with operations in 20 countries across Africa and Asia, has today announced the launch of a cross-border money-transfer service for Airtel Money customers between The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Zambia and Rwanda.
Tuesday, March 10, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

M-Pesa: Vodacom Tanzania, Safaricom Kenya Connect on Transfers

Source: BiztechAfrica

Over 7 million M-Pesa customers in Tanzania and over 18 million Safaricom customers in Kenya can now send and receive money from each other. This revolutionary service allows for mobile wallet-to-wallet transfers between the two largest telecom operators in East Africa. Now, customers can transfer funds across the border at the same rate as sending money locally.
Monday, March 2, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Visa and Bharti Airtel Push Mobile Money as Telcos Lead the Way in Developing Markets

Source: Finextra

Visa is to work with Bharti Airtel to extend its mobile money service to seven markets in Africa, including Gabon, Ghana, Kenya, Madagascar, Rwanda, Seychelles and Tanzania.
Wednesday, February 25, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Tanzanians to Enjoy Africa's First Universal Mobile Money Service

Source: ITWeb Africa

Global telecommunications and media firm Millicom has announced today that following an agreement with Vodacom's M-Pesa service, Tigo Pesa customers in Tanzania will be the first in Africa to be able to transact with users of all their country's mobile money networks.
Tuesday, February 24, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Kenya: Relaxed Rules Have Helped in Mobile Agent Recruitment - Airtel

Source: allAfrica

Lifting of restrictions on mobile money agents has helped Airtel Kenya recruit more merchants as it bids to take convenience closer to customers, according to chief executive Adil Youssefi.
Thursday, February 5, 2015 — South Asia

Payment Banks: How It Is Possible to Build a Business Around Financial Inclusion

Source: The Economic Times

Dattaram, 50, earns Rs 9,000 a month doing domestic chores in three to four homes in a Mumbai neighbourhood.
Wednesday, February 4, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Rwanda: How Mobile Money Is Leading the Drive Toward a Cashless Economy

Source: allAfrica

Since its launch in 2011, the nation's journey toward a cashless economy has registered steady progress with benefits such as reducing financial exclusion and enhancing customer experience.
Friday, January 23, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

In Zimbabwe, All Bets Are On Mobile Money & Data As SMS Declines and Telecoms Shifts

Source: Techzim

Numbers don’t lie, especially in business, and when the right sort of numbers are going up it becomes a celebrated truth.
Tuesday, January 20, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Press Release: WorldRemit and MTN Agree to Major Mobile Money Partnership

Source: Yahoo!

Online money transfer service WorldRemit and telecoms operator MTN have signed a global partnership that will enable WorldRemit customers to send remittances instantly to MTN’s Mobile Money customers.
Thursday, January 15, 2015 — South Asia

What's So Different About China's Mobile Payments' Ecosystem

Source: PYMNTS

There’s plenty of differences between the mobile commerce market in the U.S. and the mobile ecosystem seen in China.
Thursday, January 15, 2015 — Europe & Eurasia

PRESS RELEASE: Unified Signal, Inc's Mobile Wallet Software Solution Chosen to Launch Mobile Payments in Serbia

Source: Market Wired

Unified Signal, Inc. (OTCQB: UNSI), a leading software system in the telecommunications and mobile payments industry, today announced that it has received approval from the Central Bank of Serbia to enable the country of Serbia with its 7+ million population with the company's innovative and secure mobile wallet technology. Once deployed, the technology will allow Serbian expats in the US to move money to people living in Serbia and vice versa. Money will be transferred in real time to the recipient and for a fraction of the cost of industry competitors. The system will also allow for all people living in Serbia to freely pay for goods and services using their mobile phone.
Wednesday, January 14, 2015 — Latin America

Where Cellular Networks Don’t Exist, People Are Building Their Own

Source: Wired

Inside the cloud that is perpetually draped over the small town of San Juan Yaee, Oaxaca, Raúl Hernández Santiago crouches down on the roof of the town hall and starts drilling. Men wearing rain gear of various impermeabilities cluster above him, holding a 4-meter-tall tower in place. Braided wires trail from four small circles welded near its midpoint; eventually those will be bolted or tied down in order to hold the tower steady during the frequent storms that roll through this part of Mexico’s Sierra de Juárez mountains. They don’t want it falling over every time it rains. Ninety thousand of the town’s pesos—a bit over $6,000—are invested in the equipment lashed to the top of the tower, in a town where many residents get by on subsistence agriculture.
Monday, January 12, 2015 — South Asia

What Alibaba Is Getting With Its $575 Million Investment In Paytm

Source: Wall Street Journal

Alibaba Group and its financial-services affiliate Zhejiang Ant Small & Micro Financial Services Group’s planned $575 million investment in the online-payment and marketplace businesses of India’s One97 Communications called Paytm will be the Chinese company’s first major investment in India’s fast-growing e-commerce industry. A deal between the two companies will open the floodgates for large amount of cross-border trade between India and China. Here’s what you need to know about Paytm.
Monday, January 12, 2015 — South Asia

E-Wallets catching on in India

Source: The Financial Express

In a rush to board a train in time, Shivani Bhargava, a 19-year-old Delhi University student from Mumbai, ends up in a tight spot after she forgets her wallet at home. After getting down at the station in Delhi, she has to book a cab and reach her hostel at the earliest, but doesn’t have the cash or cards to do so. Enter Meru Cabs’ ‘cab wallet’. All she does is tap her mobile app and, voila, the payment is made. “Not only did I reach my hostel safely, but I also got a 30% discount,” says Bhargava.
Tuesday, December 16, 2014 — Asia Pacific

Indonesian Telco Indosat Launches ATM Card to Go with E-Wallet

Source: Tech in Asia

Indonesian telco company Indosat, in collaboration with Qatar National Bank (QNB), launched a mobile money ATM card this week, CNN Indonesia reports. The card is integrated with Indosat’s ewallet feature Dompetku, which now claims to be the first mobile money provider in Indonesia with a parallel ATM service feature.
Wednesday, October 8, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Kenya’s Wananchi Group raises $130m for African expansion

Source: BizTech Africa

Kenya’s Wananchi Group, which owns the Zuku pay-TV and fibre brands, has raised US$130 million in funding to expand in East and Southern Africa.
Monday, September 22, 2014 — No Region Specified

Half the world will online by 2017

Source: BizTech Africa

Over 50% of the global population will have Internet access within three years’ time, with mobile broadband over smartphones and tablets now the fastest growing technology in human history, according to the 2014 edition of the State of Broadband report.
Wednesday, September 10, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Kenya’s BRCK ships over 600 devices

Source: BizTech Africa

Kenyan-developed modem-cum-router BRCK has shipped over 600 devices to 45 countries since it was launched with the goal of providing internet connectivity in off-grid rural areas.
Thursday, August 7, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Zimbabwe: Telecoms Firms Embrace Innovation to Survive

Source: AllAfrica

AS technological convergence redefines business models across nearly every industry, mobile telecommunications companies have shown a growing appetite for innovation in order to survive and thrive in a fast-paced and unpredictable environment.
Wednesday, May 21, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

IFC expands support to capital markets, access to finance and telecommunications in Rwanda

Source: WorldStage

IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, today reaffirmed its commitment to supporting the private sector in Rwanda.
Friday, May 9, 2014 — No Region Specified

Nigerian Telecoms Operators Excluded from Cross Border Remittance

Source: This Day Live

Nigeria will not be a beneficiary of the landmark deal struck by major telecoms operators in Africa for the implementation of interoperable mobile money services across Africa and the Middle East regions. This is so because no telecoms operator from Nigeria is licensed to provide mobile money services, according to CommunicationsWeek.
Wednesday, April 16, 2014 — No Region Specified

DataWind Rolls Out an Affordable Bridge to Education

Source: Press Release

DataWind, a leading developer of wireless web access and products, and the manufacturer of the world’s lowest cost android tablet PC, announced that it has joined the Business Call to Action (BCtA).
Thursday, December 19, 2013 — Sub-Saharan Africa

High-Speed Recovery: Twenty years after the genocide, Rwanda looks to a high-tech future

Source: Slate

Almost 20 years have passed since the 1994 Rwandan genocide, when politicians, doctors, miners, merchants, and farmers killed about 800,000 of their fellow politicians, doctors, miners, merchants, and farmers in the East African nation of just 12 million. To this day, the 100-day horror remains one of the most appallingly efficient cases of systematic murder in modern history, and Rwanda, at least in the eyes of the West, remains synonymous with the chaos of its not-too-distant past.
Tuesday, December 3, 2013 — South Asia

Health conference on social marketing and franchising

Source: The Times of India

The first global health conference on social marketing (SM) and social franchising (SM), the two emerging tools to help India achieve the universal health coverage, will be held in Kochi from December 3 to 5.
Tuesday, November 26, 2013 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Telecoms and Banks lock horns over mobile banking in Zimbabwe

Source: The Africa Report

The bankers association accuse the mobile telephone operators of exploiting a grey area in the Banking Act.
Friday, September 27, 2013 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Speed, convenience, safety: contactless payments’ role in mobile money transfer

Source: Venture Burn

With the steady introduction of contactless payment systems in parts of South Africa, a new wave of convenience for low-value transactions is becoming a reality.
Tuesday, September 24, 2013 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Uganda streamlines healthcare with mobile technology

Source: ENCA

Uganda has received the African Development Bank's prestigious eHealth award for its M-Trac health management system, which has successfully changed the face of health service delivery in the country. At Uganda’s many remote health centres, putting pen to paper was the only way to alert health officials to problems such as drug shortages or outbreaks of malaria.
Friday, August 16, 2013 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Three Text Messages That Are Changing Africa

Source: Huffington Post

Can a text message save a continent?
Thursday, January 24, 2013 — No Region Specified

Mobile health: donors should follow, not lead

Source: The Guardian

No more preempting local demand with substandard products, the mHealth sector needs donors willing to learn from local actors and invest in sustainable business models.
Wednesday, January 2, 2013 — South Asia

The Gyaner Haats – knowledge bazaars – of Bangladesh

Source: The Guardian

Faruk Ul Islam explains how his charity is developing networks that build on official channels to reach deeper into communities
Thursday, December 13, 2012 — South Asia

PM says rural-urban divide in telecom growth must be bridged for socially inclusive growth

Source: NetIndian

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today said the full potential of telecommunication in enabling higher growth would not be realised until the use of telephones spread much wider in the rural economy of India as well.
Tuesday, October 23, 2012 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Somalia's ambitions online could bring Mogadishu to the world

Source: BBC

At The Village Restaurant, a popular open-air hangout for Mogadishu's returning diaspora community, a charcoal-powered Italian espresso machine brews Somalia's best cappuccino.
Wednesday, October 3, 2012 — South Asia

The dawn of e-microfinance

Source: Business Standard

It doesn’t look like Primiya Bai Rout, a vegetable cultivator in Salebhata village of Odisha, belongs in cyberspace. Yet, there she is, with a profile that nestles right next to Niharika Padia’s from New York. It is an unlikely pairing, but what has made it possible is a loan of Rs 400, given by Padia to Rout, so she can finance her vegetable business, thanks to Rangde — an online platform that enables people like Niharika to choose borrowers like Rout from a list of microloan seekers in the most remote corners of India.
Wednesday, September 19, 2012 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Initiative for Global Development teams with Accenture to develop electricity, connectivity in Uganda

Source: Notre Dame News

The University of Notre Dame Initiative for Global Development (IGD) and Accenture — a global management consulting, technology services and outsourcing company — are taking the lead to empower disconnected communities in northern Uganda by harnessing solar energy to generate electricity for Internet and communications technologies, education and training centers, and new locally developed ventures.
Wednesday, August 3, 2011 — South Asia

Citi, OPIC, Bank Danamon Back Indonesia?s Microfinance with USD20 Million Loan

Source: The Asset

Citi Indonesia, the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) and Bank Danamon will extend a USD20 million term loan to fund the growth of Bank Danamon's microfinance programme, Danamon Simpan Pinjam (DSP), and to promote the financial inclusion of microentrepreneurs and small businesses in Indonesia. This loan will be the first from Citi and OPIC for the microfinance sector in Indonesia, and is part of Citi's and OPIC's USD250 million joint global initiative to support micro...
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