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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, September 02, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

OPINION: Rwanda: How Energy Can Contribute Towards Poverty Alleviation

Source: AllAfrica

WE LIVE in interesting times when so much is happening in terms of development. However, there are curious contradictions that undermine our journey to the Promised Land; development.
Tuesday, September 02, 2014 — No Region Specified

4 tips to implementing effective and efficient microfinance programs

Source: Devex

Despite being in place for more than 20 years, microfinance has yet to achieve its full potential, some experts suggest.
Tuesday, September 02, 2014 — No Region Specified

Has microfinance lost its moral compass?

Source: Phys.org

The industry that provides financial services for people on low-incomes and without access to traditional banking services is morally reprehensible according to new research from The University of Manchester.
Thursday, August 28, 2014 — No Region Specified

India PM Launches Financial Inclusion Plan

Source: Zee News

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday launched Jan Dhan Yojana, a mega financial inclusion plan under which bank accounts and RuPay debit cards with inbuilt insurance cover of Rs 1 lakh will be provided to crores of persons with no access to formal banking facilities.
Thursday, August 28, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

The Financial Inclusion Game Changer

Source: BBC

Today, MasterCard is launching a ground-breaking program in Nigeria with the cooperation of the Nigerian government. This program uniquely combines a national ID card with electronic payments. Daniel Monehin, MasterCard’s Division President for Sub-Saharan Africa, sat down with MPD CEO Karen Webster to discuss why today is a such significant day in payments for Nigeria and why this program has the potential to be the financial inclusion game changer everywhere in the world.
Wednesday, August 27, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Rwanda: Microfinance Sector Soldiers On Despite Burden of Bad Loans

Source: All Africa

Sector experts say there is an urgent need to address challenges facing MFIs, especially by empowering the sector to enhance its capacity and performance.
Tuesday, August 26, 2014 — South Asia

Indian PM asks banks to make financial inclusion a national priority

Source: Business Standard

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday asked banks to make the opening of bank accounts in 70 million households this year a national priority.
Monday, August 25, 2014 — South Asia

In India, 50% of microfinance institutions could convert to banks, says regulatory body CEO

Source: The Hindu Business Line

About half of the Microfinance Institutions Network’s 49 members could follow in the footsteps of Kolkata-based Bandhan and convert themselves into banks in the next couple of years, according to a top official.
Monday, August 25, 2014 — South Asia

OPINION: Formal employment remains key to financial inclusion in India

Source: Indian Express

We believe the biggest boost to financial inclusion will come from a push to higher employment in the formal sector, especially regular, salaried employment.
Friday, August 22, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Glo launches Nigeria’s 1st Mobile Money Agent Network - Central Bank lauds initiative

Source: Nigerian Tribune

GLOBACOM, Nigeria’s national telecommunications carrier, has launched Glo Xchange, a Mobile Money Agent Network, aimed at accelerating mobile money revolution and financial inclusion in the country.
Friday, August 22, 2014 — South Asia

India's ICICI Bank plans to add more than 1.5 million accounts in FY15

Source: Business Standard

ICICI Bank-India's largest private sector bank-in a move to take ahead its financial inclusion strategy is planning to add another 1.5 million bank accounts in this financial year.
Friday, August 22, 2014 — South Asia

Bharti Airtel in talks with State Bank of India for mega alliance

Source: Economic Times

Days after the Reserve Bank of India introduced draft norms for small and payments banks to boost financial inclusion, the nation's largest telco and the nation's largest lender are exploring a mega alliance.
Thursday, August 21, 2014 — South Asia

Reserve Bank of India Deputy Governor asks bankers to be innovative on home loans

Source: The Indian Express

Reserve Bank Deputy Governor R Gandhi today asked lenders to be more financially innovative in designing home loan products and suggested creation of a periodic deposit-linked facility.
Thursday, August 21, 2014 — No Region Specified

Wells Fargo creates startup accelerator to get front-row seat on financial innovation

Source: Charlotte Business Journal

Wells Fargo & Co. has established the Wells Fargo Startup Accelerator, designed for startups pursuing innovation in financial services.
Wednesday, August 20, 2014 — South Asia

Financial inclusion in India may remain an unsolved puzzle for now

Source: Business Standard

Days after the PM announced a financial inclusion package, a look at how banks and insurance firms are going about it & what lies ahead.
Tuesday, August 19, 2014 — Asia Pacific

Using mobile money to increase financial inclusion in Indonesia

Source: Jakarta Post

With the rapid growth of the middle-income population and a better-educated demographic bonus, Indonesia is expected to experience a more sustainable economic growth. One of the ways to achieve this is by increasing people’s involvement in the financial sector, otherwise known as financial inclusion.
Tuesday, August 19, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Ending M-Pesa’s solo story

Source: Mobile World Live

M-Pesa lacks interoperability with any of the rival services run by the country’s three other operators: Airtel, Orange and yuMobile. But Safaricom is now under pressure to change its ways.
Tuesday, August 19, 2014 — Latin America

Ericsson to power Mobile Money project for ASBANC in Peru

Source: Telecom Lead

Telecom equipment vendor Ericsson will design and implement the mobile money project, Peru’s largest private initiative for financial inclusion for the National Bank Association in Peru.
Monday, August 18, 2014 — South Asia

OPINION: By making ATM transactions expensive, the Reserve Bank of India is contradicting its own stance

Source: First Biz

On Thursday, when the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) permitted banks to charge customers for using other bank ATMs more than thrice a month and that of own-banks more than five times, the apex bank was contradicting its own stated policy stance of encouraging public to alternative banking channels and, then gradually, to paperless banking.
Monday, August 18, 2014 — South Asia

Narendra Modi government to pay banks fee for pursuing financial inclusion plan in India

Source: Economic Times

MUMBAI: Government has agreed to give banks some commission for pursuing the financial inclusion plan announced by the prime minister on the Independence Day.
Friday, August 15, 2014 — South Asia

Modi Promises Access to Banking for India's Poor

Source: The New York Times

Prime Minister Narendra Modi promised on Friday greater access to financial services for nearly 500 million Indians who do not have a bank account, many of whom are now at the mercy of money lenders who charge extortionate interest.
Friday, August 15, 2014 — South Asia

Mastercard and Indosat give 60M Indonesians access to electronic payments

Source: PYMNTS

Indonesian mobile operator Indosat is making it easier and more secure for Indonesians working abroad to send money back home to family and friends by adding the MasterCard-backed HomeSend service to its offerings, the telco said this week.
Friday, August 15, 2014 — South Asia

Airtel, Voda, Idea move to cash in on mobile payments in India

Source: Hindustan Times

Till a few years ago, Sachin Dhaval had to visit the collection centre of SUMUL, the Surat-based milk co-operative, to pay cash a day in advance for placing his orders.
Friday, August 15, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Uganda: Airtel introduces mobile money saving solution

Source: IT News Africa

Airtel Uganda, in conjunction with Grameen Foundation, has developed a service that will allow Village Savings and Loan Associations (VSLAs) and other forms of savings groups, such as Chamas or investment clubs, to store their group’s cash as mobile money.
Thursday, August 14, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Uganda, Tanzania latest to welcome Diaspora Mobile Money transfer service

Source: Tech Moran

The Diaspora Mobile money transfer service from Rapid Communications’ is now in Uganda, Tanzania and Senegal only a month after it was unveiled in Kenya.
Wednesday, August 13, 2014 — South Asia

Full financial inclusion can boost India’s GDP by 0.9%, says report

Source: Business Standard

British brokerage Barclays today said returns from financial inclusion, in the form of savings through reduced leakages, better tax collection and improved savings, would be much higher than the cost incurred.
Wednesday, August 13, 2014 — South Asia

How to make financial inclusion work for women in India

Source: Financial Express

A striking thing in the BJP’s maiden budget was integrating gender in the macroeconomic policy framework.
Tuesday, August 12, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Kenya's mobile money transactions hit KES1 trillion

Source: ITWeb Africa

Statistics from the Central Bank of Kenya indicate that Kenyans transferred over KES 1 trillion between January and June this year.
Tuesday, August 12, 2014 — South Asia

Banking correspondents risking lives to bring financial inclusion to India

Source: LiveMint

In Bihar alone, at least 14 attacks on bank kiosk operators have been reported in the last two years
Tuesday, August 12, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

PRESS RELEASE: Western Union Expands Collaboration with MTN Group; Launches Mobile Money Transfer Service in the Ivory Coast

Source: Market Watch

Consumers Who Subscribe to MTN Mobile Money Can Now Receive a Western Union Money Transfer Transaction on Their Mobile Phones
Tuesday, August 12, 2014 — South Asia

Indian MFIs demand more incentives for working as business correspondents

Source: Business Standard

According to survey by microfinance institution network (MFIN), published in February this year, nine out of 14 MFIs closed their operation as BCs in the recent past.
Tuesday, August 12, 2014 — South Asia

Direct cash transfers will reduce corruption in India, says Reserve Bank governor

Source: Economic Times India

Reserve Bank of India governor Raghuram Rajan made a strong pitch for direct cash transfers to the poor, saying this would help reduce corruption by breaking the "cycle of dependence".
Tuesday, August 12, 2014 — South Asia

India's Welcome Reform Of Its Ghastly Food Aid Program

Source: Forbes

India is making essential changes to the way that it operates its food aid program for the poor.
Monday, August 11, 2014 — South Asia

Ideas for a financially inclusive India

Source: Deccan Herald

The Prime Minister is expected to outline a policy on financial inclusion in his maiden speech from the ramparts of Red Fort on August 15, 2014.
Monday, August 11, 2014 — South Asia

RuPay cards to replace Aadhaar in welfare scheme authentication in India

Source: Economic Times India

The finance ministry has decided to limit Aadhaar's role in its welfare scheme payments and, instead, use ATM-enables RuPay cards for last-mile authentication to withdraw money.
Friday, August 08, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Nigeria: Airtel unveils Airtel Insurance

Source: IT News Africa

Airtel Nigeria has collaborated with MicroEnsure and Cornerstone Insurance in order to launch its latest, free insurance product.
Friday, August 08, 2014 — South Asia

Rocket Internet raises $445 million to invest in mobile payments in emerging markets

Source: Internet Retailer

Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company is purchasing a 10% stake in Rocket, a German e-commerce investment firm. The deal will combine the Philippines telecom operator’s mobile expertise with Rocket's global e-commerce and web services footprint.
Friday, August 08, 2014 — South Asia

Micro-insurance products in India may see sea-change

Source: Business Standard

Better remuneration to distributors and policies with bigger ticket size may boost sale
Thursday, August 07, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

World Bank Group Commits US$ 5 Billion to Boost Electricity Generation in Six African Countries

Source: World Bank

The World Bank Group today committed $5 billion in new technical and financial support for energy projects in six African countries-- Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Liberia, Nigeria, and Tanzania—which have partnered with President Obama’s Power Africa initiative.
Thursday, August 07, 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.
Thursday, August 07, 2014 — South Asia

Indian Banks to ensure minimum remuneration to business correspondents

Source: Business Standard

Over 220,000 BCs had been appointed by banks after the RBI pushed this as a cost-effective way of extending banking services to the unbanked villages
Wednesday, August 06, 2014 — No Region Specified

3 Startups Offer New 'Microloan' Options for Entrepreneurs With Big Ambitions

Source: Entrepreneur

In the United States, a whopping 543,000 new businesses are launched each month. Sadly, half of all start-ups aren’t able to keep their doors open for more than five years. The failure of many small businesses is due, in large part, to lack of funding.
Wednesday, August 06, 2014 — No Region Specified

Social Enterprises Raise Money Through Direct Public Offerings

Source: Forbes

Looks like there’s a growing interest among social enterprises in a capital-raising method called Direct Public Offering (DPO).
Tuesday, August 05, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Mobile Money Grows In Africa But Hurdles Remain

Source: Gulf Business

Industry players say a fragmented and tough regulatory environment is holding the mobile money industry back.
Monday, August 04, 2014 — South Asia

Will Indian PM Narendra Modi's financial inclusion plan use Aadhaar for authentication?

Source: Economic Times India

NEW DELHI: In less than two weeks, PM Narendra Modi is expected to announce a new Financial Inclusion drive.
Monday, August 04, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

What Vodacom has learned from M-PESA’s initial failure in South Africa

Source: Gadget

Following a disastrous South African launch in 2010, Vodacom has redesigned and re launched m-pesa, the mobile money service that has transformed the Kenyan economy. ARTHUR GOLDSTUCK considers its chances of success.
Friday, August 01, 2014 — South Asia

Reserve Bank of India's move to issue differentiated banking licences is path-breaking - but challenges remain

Source: Business Today

The RBI's move to issue differentiated banking licences is path-breaking but challenges galore.
Friday, August 01, 2014 — No Region Specified

Banking For The Poor: Will This Be Bill Gates' Greatest Philanthropic Achievement?

Source: Forbes

Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates has given away more than $28 billion, comfortably making him the world’s greatest living philanthropist.
Thursday, July 31, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

EcoCash Launches Africa’s first physical MasterCard companion card in Zimbabwe

Source: Biztechafrica

Econet’s Mobile Money service, EcoCash, has announced a landmark agreement with MasterCard that will significantly assist in reducing cash dependence and increase financial inclusion through the provision of electronic payments in Zimbabwe.
Thursday, July 31, 2014 — South Asia

Indian government aims to open 7.5 crore bank accounts by August 15, 2018

Source: Economic Times India

The NDA government has drafted a new financial inclusion plan that aims to open 7.5 crore bank accounts in rural and urban areas and extend financial services to all citizens by August 15, 2018.
Thursday, July 31, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

M-PESA’s back: Vodacom relaunches mobile money in South Africa

Source: htxt

Vodacom has announced that it is relaunching its M-PESA mobile money payments system today, with a new look design for South Africans.
Thursday, July 31, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Rwanda: Survival Instinct Takes Over As Banks Partner With Telecoms

Source: AllAfrica

As the fight for customers between banks and telecoms continues to grow by the day, banks have realised that the only way to ease the pressure and also stay competitive is to work with telecoms.
Thursday, July 31, 2014 — South Asia

Incofin floats ProPulse Fund to back microfinance cos, targets institutions

Source: VCCircle

Incofin has backed microfinance firms such as Annapurna, Fusion and Grameen Koota in India.
Thursday, July 31, 2014 — Latin America

OPINION: Brazil's Unaffordable Homes

Source: The New York Times

SÃO PAULO, Brazil — I live in Mandaqui, a district six miles from downtown. The nearest subway station is roughly two miles away, or about 30 minutes by bus, since they’re slow and scarce. It’s not the best place to live if you don’t have a car. Even so, the average price per square foot here recently soared to $250. Real estate in prime areas of the city can now cost as much as $465 per square foot.
Thursday, July 31, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Airtel wins case against Safaricom to open up M-Pesa

Source: HumanIPO

The Communications Authority of Kenya (CAK) has ruled in favour of Airtel after the company accused its rival Safaricom of anti-competitive practice, a move coming weeks after Safaricom had decided to open up the network.
Wednesday, July 30, 2014 — No Region Specified

Crowdnetic and UC Berkeley to partner on Crowdfunding Research

Source: Crowdfund Insider

Over a year ago, Crowdnetic and UC Berkeley began collaborating on the launch of UC Berkeley’s Program for Innovation in Entrepreneurial and Social Finance, headed by Dr. Richard Swart, who serves as its Director of Research at the Coleman Fung Institute for Engineering Leadership.
Wednesday, July 30, 2014 — Asia Pacific

Microcredits boost rural financing in China

Source: China Economic Net

Opinions on Development of Financial Services to Farmer, Rural Areas, and Agricultural Production by the General Office of the State Council has proposed "accelerated promotion of microcredits in rural areas".
Wednesday, July 30, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Top 20 African tech startups, PesaPal, mobile services providers in the lead

Source: Venture Capital Post

Africa today is said to be a mobile continent, according to CNN. As such, a lot of innovative startups concentrate on developing innovative products and systems for mobile applications.
Wednesday, July 30, 2014 — South Asia

Reserve Bank of India survey finds 47 percent of banking agents 'untraceable'

Source: The Financial Express

The success of the government’s thrust on financial inclusion, which largely hinges on the role played by business correspondents (BCs), is faced with a harsh reality check.
Wednesday, July 30, 2014 — No Region Specified

4 questions about World Bank safeguards

Source: Devex

The World Bank board's Committee on Development Effectiveness meets on Wednesday to review a new proposal that may change the way the Washington, D.C.-based institution assesses and mitigates the environmental and social impacts of its investments.
Tuesday, July 29, 2014 — No Region Specified

International Labour Office, World Bank to Enhance Access to Insurance in Africa and Asia

Source: This Day Live

The International Labour Office (ILO) and the World Bank Group (WBG) have signed a memorandum of understanding that aims to provide access to improved insurance products to hundreds of thousands of smallholder farmers, small businesses and individuals in Asia and Africa.
Tuesday, July 29, 2014 — South Asia

Mobile wallet a distant dream in India

Source: Times of India

Despite a huge unbanked population and 700 million cellphone connections, the concept of mobile wallet will take some time to become popular in India as people are still unaware of its larger benefits like financial inclusion, even as the standards to make it functional are yet to be in place, experts maintain.
Tuesday, July 29, 2014 — South Asia

Taking financial inclusion beyond bank accounts in India

Source: The Financial Express

Prime Minister Narendra Modi cleared the grand financial inclusion plan last week, which he is going to unveil on August 15.
Monday, July 28, 2014 — No Region Specified

Technoserve releases annual report highlighting progress on five-year strategic plan

Source: TechnoServe

We work with enterprising people in the developing world to build competitive farms, businesses and industries.
Monday, July 28, 2014 — No Region Specified

OPINION: Social Impact Bonds: Phantom of the Nonprofit Sector

Source: Nonprofit Quarterly

What issue could bring Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Senator Al Franken (D-MN) into bipartisan partnership? Social impact bonds (SIBs)—or pay-for-success (PFS), depending on one’s preferred terminology.
Monday, July 28, 2014 — South Asia

Payment banks to be new revenue stream for India’s telcos

Source: Business Standard

Analysts expect all telcos to join the race; a liberal policy could boost revenues by 7-8% for the sector
Monday, July 28, 2014 — Latin America

PRESS RELEASE: President Peña Nieto of Mexico Expected to Attend 17th Microcredit Summit

Source: Digital Journal

The Microcredit Summit Campaign announced today that President Enrique Peña Nieto is expected to join the delegates of the 17th Microcredit Summit on September 3, 2014, in Merida, Mexico.
Monday, July 28, 2014 — No Region Specified

Skoll Centre Venture Award winners: Tree-planting Quad-Copters and Farmers’ Transport Logistics

Source: Skoll Centre

Two new social ventures with founding teams from the University of Oxford have been chosen to receive this year’s Skoll Centre Venture Awards. The winners are Biocarbon Engineering, focusing on replanting one billion trees annually through the use of quad-copter technology, and Linkage, which aims to help smallholder farmers in Kenya to improve their selling practises and supply chain using an Uber-like logistics and transport system.
Friday, July 25, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

IBM, Monitise targets financial sector with mobile money solution in Kenya

Source: Capital FM Kenya

IBM and Monitise have announced a global alliance to deliver cloud-based mobile commerce solutions to help financial services institutions embrace the mobile channel and better engage with customers.
Thursday, July 24, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Kenya's Airtel sticks to its case against Safaricom

Source: Mobile World Live

Kenyan operator Airtel has pledged to continue its case against larger rival Safaricom over what it charges for access to its M-Pesa mobile money transfer service, said Business Daily.
Thursday, July 24, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

d.light Reaches 500,000th Pay-As-You-Go Customer, Launches Access Initiative

Source: Business Ghana

Company announces strategic focus to scale solar through financing globally
Thursday, July 24, 2014 — South Asia

Chinese microcredit firms lend around USD $10 billion in first half of 2014

Source: Global Post

BEIJING, July 23 (Xinhua) -- Microcredit companies in China issued 61.8 billion yuan (about 10 billion U.S. dollars) of new loans in the first half of 2014, industry figures showed on Wednesday.
Thursday, July 24, 2014 — South Asia

World Bank to provide $18 bn aid to India in three years

Source: Odisha Sun Times

The World Bank Wednesday said it will provide financial support of $15-18 billion to India over the next three years to help accelerate economic growth and reduce poverty.
Thursday, July 24, 2014 — South Asia

Can India Achieve Financial Inclusion within the Next Few Years?

Source: Huffington Post

The new Government of India has made financial inclusion one of the corner stones in its modernization aspirations for the country.
Wednesday, July 23, 2014 — No Region Specified

Does the World Still Need the World Bank?

Source: Bloomberg View

There will always be a need for a World Bank, which celebrates a birthday of sorts Tuesday. There is no need for a World Bank with more than 10,000 employees.
Wednesday, July 23, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Africans Open Fuller Wallets to the Future

Source: The New York Times

JOHANNESBURG — Across sub-Saharan Africa, consumer demand is fueling the continent’s economies in new ways, driving hopes that Africa will emerge as a success story in the coming years comparable to the rise of the East Asian Tigers in the second half of the 20th century.
Wednesday, July 23, 2014 — No Region Specified

Next Big Thing You Missed: Bigger, Cheaper Fuel Cells Will Eliminate Power Outages

Source: Wired

General Electric has a bright idea for keeping the lights on even when the electrical grid short-circuits. The 122-year-old company wants to bring clean, reliable, affordable energy to the masses with hyper-efficient fuel cells , and in a rare move, is launching a startup to do it.
Wednesday, July 23, 2014 — South Asia

A new kind of no-frills bank could kickstart India’s long-awaited mobile money revolution

Source: Quartz

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) is one of the few institutions Indians respect (paywall). India’s central bank is known for being clean, sensible, and well-run. It is also extremely cautious
Wednesday, July 23, 2014 — Latin America

Financial Inclusion in Paraguay: New Mobile Money Regulation

Source: GSMA

The opportunity to increase financial access in Paraguay is massive.
Wednesday, July 23, 2014 — South Asia

The BRICS new development bank: A historic game-changer?

Source: Eurasia Review

Following two years of intense negotiations, the BRICS leaders agreed on 15 July 2014 in Fortaleza (Brazil) to launch the New Development Bank (NDB).
Tuesday, July 22, 2014 — South Asia

India PM Modi to unveil comprehensive financial inclusion schemes on Aug. 15 - here’s a sneak peek

Source: FirstBiz

Mumbai: Prime Minister Narendra Modi is set to give a big boost to the ongoing financial inclusion drive by unveiling a comprehensive programme, to be announced at the Red Fort in his address to the nation on the Independence Day.
Tuesday, July 22, 2014 — South Asia

World Bank Group (WBG) Loans $500m to Government of Indonesia for Financial Sector Reform

Source: MicroCapital

World Bank Group (WBG) Loans $500m to Government of Indonesia for Financial Sector Reform, Including to Boost Financial Inclusion
Tuesday, July 22, 2014 — South Asia

Norms on small banks fail to impress micro lenders

Source: Business Standard

The Reserve Bank of India's (RBI) draft guidelines for licensing of small banks has failed to impress microfinance companies.
Tuesday, July 22, 2014 — South Asia

India's youngest bank Bandhan to empower women, rural folk

Source: Business Standard

Innovative microfinance company Bandhan will operate as a bank from October next year and focus on empowering women and rural people, says its chairman and managing director Chandra Shekhar Ghosh.
Friday, July 18, 2014 — No Region Specified

On Capitol Hill, a brief simulation of what poor Americans go through each day

Source: The Washington Post

U.S. Rep. Daniel Kildee (D-Mich.) had just finished voting on highway construction funding before he was rushed to a meeting room and thrust into the anxiety-ridden world of Ann and Albert.
Friday, July 18, 2014 — No Region Specified

International Reform Activists Dissatisfied by BRICS Bank

Source: Inter Press Service

FORTALEZA, Brazil, Jul 17 2014 (IPS) - The creation of BRICS’ (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) own financial institutions was “a disappointment” for activists from the five countries, meeting in this northeastern Brazilian city after the group’s leaders concluded their sixth annual summit here.
Friday, July 18, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Rwanda: Why Farmers Are Loyal to Micro-Finance Institutions

Source: AllAfrica

Rwandans have hailed the role of micro-finance institutions just as Kigali is hosting a global financial inclusion summit starting today.
Thursday, July 17, 2014 — South Asia

RBI spells out draft norms to set up payments banks, small banks in India

Source: FirstBiz

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on Thursday spelled out draft norms to set up payments banks and small banks in India that will give a major push for financial inclusion, or the process of spreading banking services in the un-banked segments, in Asia’s third largest economy.
Thursday, July 17, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Safaricom move to open up M-pesa agent network seen to aid mobile money services

Source: PC Advisor

Safaricom's move last week to allow agents for its M-pesa mobile money service to work for rival operators is broadly being viewed as having the potential to further fuel the growth of such services.
Thursday, July 17, 2014 — South Asia

Indian government to set up credit guarantee fund to support Rs 40,000-crore Financial Inclusion Mission

Source: Economic Times India

NEW DELHI: The government will set up a credit guarantee fund to support its over Rs 40,000-crore new Financial Inclusion Mission, which envisages to give a Rs 5,000 overdraft facility to around 8 crore new account holders.
Thursday, July 17, 2014 — No Region Specified

A Supply Chain Overhaul To Boost Coffee Farmers' Income 400%

Source: Forbes

This is about a social enterprise on a mission to reinvent the coffee supply chain, giving farmers a bigger and more equitable piece of the action.
Wednesday, July 16, 2014 — South Asia

OPINION: Five reasons why Modi government’s grand financial inclusion plan won’t work

Source: FirstBiz

The Modi-government has somewhat bought the idea of universal bank accounts, something first proposed by the Nachiket Mor panel in January, 2014. The plan will finally come up with a little bit of 'Modi'-fication. Instead of one full service bank account for every adult citizen by January 2016—the idea proposed by the Mor panel—the government plans to offer two bank account for every household within the next year.
Wednesday, July 16, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Telecel Zimbabwe launches mobile money credit card

Source: ITWeb Africa

Zimbabwe's second largest telco by subscriber numbers, Telecel, on Wednesday launched a credit card for its mobile money system Telecash.
Tuesday, July 15, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Kenya mobiles step up rivalry

Source: East African Business Week

NAIROBI, Kenya - Kenya’s lucrative mobile money transfer market is set for unprecedented competition following the entry of three additional telecoms operators with intention to have a piece of the sector’s billion shillings pie.
Tuesday, July 15, 2014 — South Asia

IBM signes deal worth Rs 550 crore with microfinance firm Janalakshmi Financial Services

Source: Economic Times India

NEW DELHI: International Business Machines (IBM) has signed a deal worth Rs 550 crore with microfinance firmJanalakshmi Financial Services, according to people familiar with the discussions. IBM's consulting division, along with its Institute of Business Value, is leading the engagement, a person familiar with the transaction said.
Tuesday, July 15, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Mobile payments ideal for Africa

Source: ITWeb Africa

In emerging markets, mobile money has the power to transform lives, says Gemalto.
Friday, July 11, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Zimbabwe's high interest rates, multiple borrowings and growing debts

Source: The Africa Report

Zimbabwe's microfinance institutions (MFIs) doled out $170 million worth of loans to clients in the first quarter of the year with the bulk of the funds going towards domestic consumption.
Friday, July 11, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Incentives to lift mobile money uptake

Source: ITWeb

Airtime can be used as an incentive to drive the uptake and usage of mobile money services in countries where its growth has been sluggish.
Thursday, July 10, 2014 — South Asia

Setting a High Bar for Poverty in India

Source: The New York Times

NEW DELHI — It is not uncommon for Indians to stand in a line to receive alms from a politician as he gives away clothes, pots and laptops that would make Apple laugh. This is a custom that has survived from a time when the theater of charity was enough to make the poor feel grateful. But they have since come to regard such alms as political buffoonery and now expect substantial assistance from the government.
Thursday, July 10, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Safaricom and Kenya Commercial Bank Partner to Counter Equity's Mobile Money Plan

Source: AllAfrica

KENYA Commercial Bank has partnered with Safaricom to offer a new product that converges financial and communication services to take on Equity Bank's planned mobile virtual network operation business.
Thursday, July 10, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Nigeria Launches National Bank Verification Scheme

Source: Ventures Africa

VENTURES AFRICA – As part of the financial inclusion policy of the Financial Sector Strategy (FSS) agenda of ensuring Nigeria becomes one of the top 20 largest economies in the world by 2020, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has advised bank customers in Lagos to register and obtain their Bank Verification Number (BVN).
Wednesday, July 09, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Safaricom finally agrees to open up M-Pesa agent network

Source: ITWeb Africa

Mobile network Safaricom, which runs M-Pesa, has unexpectedly agreed to open up its agency network across the country to its rivals.
Wednesday, July 09, 2014 — South Asia

OPINION: Bank accounts for all won’t bring financial inclusion to India

Source: First Post India

Financial inclusion, the buzzword that Manmohan Singh government used quite freely during his term in office, is likely to be part of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s lexicon as well. But the question is, how will he implement it?
Wednesday, July 09, 2014 — South Asia

Mobile Banking Rises Across the Globe

Source: eWEEK

Emerging countries such as China, India and Bangladesh witnessed significant growth in the past 12 months, the Juniper study found.
Tuesday, July 08, 2014 — No Region Specified

Clay Fridges That Keep Food Cool Without Electricity

Source: Fast CoExist

This food storage box won't replace a refrigerator. But it'll help keep food fresh for people who don't have one.
Tuesday, July 08, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Tanzania: Better Credit Facility in Pipeline

Source: AllAfrica

MEMBERS of the public may soon start accessing credits on competitive terms, thanks to the Credit Reference Bureau (CRB), that commercial banks have embraced amid optimism that the data base will help to extend financial services to more people, a new study has shown.
Monday, July 07, 2014 — No Region Specified

New private equity fund targets microfinance institutions for women

Source: Devex

It’s been a while in the making, but this week Women’s World Banking finally closed its first private equity fund to invest in microfinance enterprises that support women.
Monday, July 07, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Developing Africa Through Effective, Socially Responsible Investing

Source: Ventures Africa

VENTURES AFRICA – The SME space is seeing tremendous growth in Africa, with easier access to funds from financial institutions and government policies encouraging sector growth.
Monday, July 07, 2014 — South Asia

Adarsh Credit Co-op Reaches India's Rural Poor With Mobile Tech

Source: Forbes

Mobile phones are a key way to expand financial inclusion to rural areas across emerging markets, as M-Pesa has demonstrated in Kenya. In India, Adarsh Credit Co-operative Society reaches one million members through 800 branches and more than 100,000 financial advisors who travel through villages taking deposits or disbursing money by linking to the bank through their mobile phones.
Thursday, July 03, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda working on cross border mobile money platform

Source: HumanIPO

East Africa will soon have a common mobile money platform that will enable users to send money from one country to another without any difficulty under exchange rates approved by central banks.
Thursday, July 03, 2014 — South Asia

Mobile money and digitized payments have few takers in India

Source: LiveMint

Lack of awareness and difficult access are the main hurdles
Wednesday, July 02, 2014 — South Asia

Impact investor money chasing very few investible companies in India

Source: Business Today

Venky Natarajan, Managing Partner at impact investment fund Lok Capital, speaks to BUSINESS TODAY about impact investing in India.
Wednesday, July 02, 2014 — South Asia

Indonesia Receives Us$500 Million from World Bank in Support of Financial Sector Reform Policies

Source: Insurance News

WASHINGTON, July 1 -- World Bank issued the following news release: The World Bank'sBoard of Executive Directors approved today a US$500 millionFinancial Sector Reform and Modernization Development Policy Loan for the Government of Indonesia. The loan supports Indonesia's policies aimed at reinforcing the stability of the financial system, diversifying the financial sector, and expanding financial inclusion to reach the poor and other underserved groups.
Wednesday, July 02, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Ugandan banks look to expand reach through agents

Source: The Observer

At least six banks have expressed interest in using agents to reach out to people outside the formal banking institutions, Bank of Uganda has said.
Wednesday, July 02, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Tanzania: Missing Link Between Economic Growth, Poverty Reduction

Source: AllAfrica

THE much celebrated economic growth in Tanzania and other African countries that are said to make good progress can only have a meaning if there will be myriad poverty alleviation indicators.
Tuesday, July 01, 2014 — No Region Specified

Orissa-based Milk Mantra raises $13M in Series C led by Fidelity Growth Partners

Source: VCCircle

The transaction also had a secondary component where 25 angel investors and an old fund under Aavishkaar have exited.
Tuesday, July 01, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Mobile virtual operators compete with established players in Africa

Source: PC Advisor

Players in the traditional telecoms market have struggled in countries where extensive infrastructure is needed
Tuesday, July 01, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Consumer Federation of Kenya fights off claim of bias in mobile money war

Source: Standard Digital

Pressure is mounting on the Consumer Federation of Kenya ( Cofek) to stop opposing the award of licences to Equity Bank and two other Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNOs) and support the venture.
Monday, June 30, 2014 — No Region Specified

Two Financial Titans Open Their Vaults to Impact Investing

Source: Student Reporter

Started a few years ago by a small band of pioneers, impact investing has gained traction and is now drawing the attention of large international banks. Large financial institutions such as BNP Paribas and Citigroup, based in Europe and the United States, respectively, are developing various projects in the field of social and sustainable finance.
Monday, June 30, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

The apparent M-Pesa monopoly may be set to crumble

Source: Fortune

Competition to the M-Pesa is heating up in Kenya, the world’s most advanced mobile payments market.
Monday, June 30, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Nigeria’s Microfinance Banks Ready To Go Cashless

Source: The Nigerian Observer

Abuja - The National Association of Micro Finance Banks (NAMFB), has expressed readiness of its members to key into Federal Government’s cashless policy.
Monday, June 30, 2014 — No Region Specified

Int’l Telecoms, Gates Foundation To Connect 2.5bn Adults To Mobile Money

Source: Leadership

The International Telecommunications Union (ITU) has joined hands with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to connect over 2.5 billion adults who do not have access to a formal bank account, most of them in developing economies, by delivering digital financial services capable of improving the delivery of basic financial services.
Monday, June 30, 2014 — No Region Specified

Impact investing on the cusp of mainstream wealth management

Source: Investment News

The news releases arrived in noteworthy succession throughout 2013. Morgan Stanley,UBS AG, The Goldman Sachs Group Inc., and JPMorgan Chase & Co. — some of the biggest names in the financial services industry — announced plans to establish or augment their activities around impact investing.
Friday, June 27, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

South Africa: MTN, Pick N Pay in Mobile Money Partnership

Source: allAfrica

Johannesburg — MTN and Pick n Pay have partnered for a free money transfer service that is poised to empower millions of South Africans excluded from the banking system.
Friday, June 27, 2014 — No Region Specified

Wealthy support greater effort to promote social equality

Source: Benefits Pro

Ninety percent of wealthy individuals say they would be willing to pay higher taxes, support more job creation and greater educational opportunities in an effort to promote more income equality, according to a new survey by US Trust.
Friday, June 27, 2014 — South Asia

Reserve Bank of India testing mobile-based payments system linked to Aadhaar national ID platform

Source: Business Standard

Despite uncertainty surrounding Aadhar's future, RBI is testing a mobile-based payments system linked to this platform
Friday, June 27, 2014 — No Region Specified

International Telecommunication Union sets up mobile money focus group

Source: HumanIPO

The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) has established a focus group on mobile money, setting its sights on global financial inclusion.
Thursday, June 26, 2014 — South Asia

Google announces ‘Android One’ standard for affordable devices, arriving first in India at under $100

Source: The Next Web

Google has revealed a new program called Android One which will specify a set of hardware and software guidelines for device makers to adhere to if they wish to attain official ‘Android One’ status.
Wednesday, June 25, 2014 — No Region Specified

MTN offers Mobile Money Visa in South Africa

Source: ITWeb

MTN SA has launched a Visa card for Mobile Money users in SA.
Tuesday, June 24, 2014 — No Region Specified

Forget Bitcoin: There’s A Better Model For Mobile Money

Source: ReadWrite

It's called M-Pesa, and it's also spreading around the world.
Tuesday, June 24, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

BitPesa set to launch in Nairobi

Source: HumanIPO

Kenyan startup BitPesa is set to formally launch in Nairobi next week, bidding to bring down the high transaction fees associated with international money remittance companies by taking advantage of the digital, borderless currency Bitcoin.
Tuesday, June 24, 2014 — No Region Specified

Why mobile money has failed to take off in India

Source: Quartz

As we report this week, in much of the developing world, mobile money is evolving.Initially just a means of making payments, it’s now becoming a platform for an entire financial-services industry.
Friday, June 20, 2014 — No Region Specified

Myanmar: Adjusting for growth in the financial sector

Source: Oxford Business Group

Authorities in Myanmar are determined to foster economic progress and have placed financial inclusion on their list of priorities.
Thursday, June 19, 2014 — No Region Specified

How to manage all your financial affairs from a $20 mobile phone

Source: Quartz

“I feel like a caveman who’s just been handed a Bic lighter,” reported Charles Graeber, a writer for Bloomberg Businessweek who recently went to Nairobi to check out M-Pesa, Kenya’s dominant mobile-money provider.
Wednesday, June 18, 2014 — No Region Specified

OPINION: Mobile Money Services - Not Mobile Wallets - Will Lead To Financial Inclusion in India

Source: Light Reading India

Mobile wallet services have been around for quite some time now and have gained considerable traction. However, the broader genre of mobile money services are yet to etch a mark.
Wednesday, June 18, 2014 — No Region Specified

BNP Paribas, Orange Partnership Reaffirms Growing Significance Of Mobile Money In Africa

Source: Ventures Africa

VENTURES AFRICA – UK-based telecom giant, Orange and the French banking group, BNP Paribas have teamed up to roll out mobile money services for Africans, joining the growing pool of mobile money providers and reaffirming the increasing prominence the innovative service is taking in the continent’s financial sector.
Tuesday, June 17, 2014 — No Region Specified

Over 70% of micro enterprises in Nigeria lack insurance protection, group raises alarm

Source: Nigerian Tribune

A civil society organisation, Transparent Protection Limited (TPL), on Monday, in Abuja, raised the alarm that over 70 percent of micro enterprises in the country did not have any form of insurance.
Tuesday, June 17, 2014 — No Region Specified

M-SHWARI LAUNCHES A FIXED DEPOSIT ACCOUNT DUBBED LOCK

Source: Tech Moran

Commercial Bank of Africa (CBA) and Safaricom’s paperless banking service M-shwari has today launched a fixed deposit savings account dubbed “Lock Savings Account”, the first of its kind in the mobile money space aimed at helping Kenyans an opportunity to save for a specific purpose.
Tuesday, June 17, 2014 — No Region Specified

Grameen America Scales Microlending Model Across the U.S. with Launch of Microfinance Training Institute in Queens

Source: Digital Journal

Grameen America, a nonprofit microfinance organization offering microloans, training and support to help women in poverty build small businesses, today announced the launch of the first U.S. Training Institute for microfinance with the support of longstanding partner Capital One.
Monday, June 16, 2014 — No Region Specified

Citi celebrates small successes with microentrepreneurship awards

Source: The Daily Star

Six microentrepreneurs, two lenders awarded
Monday, June 16, 2014 — No Region Specified

Unbanked and cashless: why mobile wallets like M-Pesa are focusing on eastern Europe

Source: DW

Banks in Europe are rolling out mobile wallets and peer-to-peer payment apps originally developed for Africa in a bid to offer banking services to millions of eastern Europeans who are "unbanked."
Monday, June 16, 2014 — No Region Specified

Mobile Payment Transactions Hit N271 Billion in Nigeria

Source: This Day Live

In spite of the initial apathy to the mobile payment initiative of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), there are indications that the policy is gaining traction as the total value of mobile payments in the country amounted to N271 billion for 25 million transactions as at end of May.
Monday, June 16, 2014 — No Region Specified

Reserve Bank of India’s relaxation of know-your-customer norms to boost financial inclusion

Source: Business Standard

Bankers and industry experts believe that this will not only bring migrant workers but also students and people with a transferable job in the banking fold
Friday, June 13, 2014 — No Region Specified

Mobile money remittances for Zimbabwean expats

Source: ITWeb Africa

Expat Zimbabweans now have an alternative remittance service thanks to Econet Wireless partnering with cash transfer firm WorldRemit on a mobile money offering.
Friday, June 13, 2014 — No Region Specified

Cash transfers in Africa

Source: The Economist

Bitcoin for the poor
Friday, June 13, 2014 — No Region Specified

Soon, Indians won't need smartphones for mobile money transfers

Source: Business Standard

FM might next month launch mobile banking services for people not using smartphones, the move aims at pushing financial inclusion in India
Thursday, June 12, 2014 — No Region Specified

World Bank, Firstmonie partner to advance mobile money in Nigeria

Source: HumanIPO

The World Bank through its subsidiary the International Finance Corporation (IFC) has announced a partnership with First Bank of Nigeria’s Firstmonie to advance mobile money services in Nigeria.
Thursday, June 12, 2014 — No Region Specified

This Credit Union in Disguise Is Helping Poor Latino Communities

Source: National Journal

Low-income Latinos often rely on predatory payday loans and high-priced check-cashing services. Savings accounts can change that.
Tuesday, June 10, 2014 — South Asia

World Bank to offer transition support of $3.5 billion to India for infrastructure, education initiatives

Source: Economic Times India

NEW DELHI: The World Bank will continue its concessional lending meant for poorer countries to India and has also significantly upped the country's single-borrower limit, looking to provide a helping hand to the new government in taking forward its agenda on infrastructure, skilling, river cleaning and tourism.
Tuesday, June 10, 2014 — No Region Specified

My Day Without Banks

Source: National Journal

Lesson one from navigating the archipelago of check cashers, payday lenders, and discount store money desks: it’s expensive to be poor.
Tuesday, June 10, 2014 — No Region Specified

The experimenters strike back in microcredit research

Source: The Economist

“GIVE a man a fish”, said Bono, an Irish singer turned philanthropist, “he’ll eat for a day. Give a woman microcredit, she, her husband, her children and her extended family will eat for a lifetime."
Tuesday, June 10, 2014 — No Region Specified

PRESS RELEASE: Correlation Established Between Mobile Phone Usage and Banking Behavior

Source: Digital Journal

Findings are result of WSBI project carried out by Cignifi
Monday, June 09, 2014 — No Region Specified

Fighting Financial Exclusion: How To Serve 88 Million Americans Who Have No Bank

Source: Forbes

“Anyone who has ever struggled with poverty knows how extremely expensive it is to be poor,” the great American author James Baldwin wrote in 1960.More than half a century later, his words ring true to the 46 million Americans who live below the poverty line and to the millions more who are struggling to stay above it.
Monday, June 09, 2014 — No Region Specified

Safaricom softens stance on opening up M-Pesa

Source: ITWeb Africa

Kenya’s largest mobile phone company Safaricom has softened its position on opening up its mobile money system M-Pesa to rivals.
Monday, June 09, 2014 — No Region Specified

More evidence that giving poor people money is a great cure for poverty

Source: Vox Media

As solutions to global poverty go, "just give poor people money" is pretty rock solid.
Monday, June 09, 2014 — No Region Specified

Women and Money: Bridging the Financial Inclusion Gender Gap in the Global South

Source: Huffington Post

The urban poor in the Global South lack access to banking and financial services, and women are disproportionately affected. They are less likely than men to hold a bank account, to take out a loan, or to borrow money. This is a detriment to development since women are more likely to spend extra funds on their family, thereby improving food, education, and health. São Paulo, Mexico City, Nairobi, Bangalore, and Dhaka have taken various approaches to bridging the financial inclusion gender gap.
Friday, June 06, 2014 — No Region Specified

Ten Days in Kenya With No Cash, Only a Phone

Source: Bloomberg Businessweek

Even farther into the country, a few miles from the Ugandan border in a town called Bungoma, I find Gertrude Wamalwa working her farm plot, a rust-colored scarf tied across her forehead and a machete in her leathered hands. Wamalwa and her Bungoma neighbors don’t appear to have any connection to mobile money.
Friday, June 06, 2014 — No Region Specified

Impact Investing: Not Just For Billionaires

Source: Forbes

Foundations just make grants, correct? Not necessarily. Grants are becoming one option in a more complex menu of financial tools for the social sector.
Wednesday, June 04, 2014 — No Region Specified

Tigo, Airtel, Zantel announce Africa’s first interoperable mobile money agreement

Source: HumanIPO

Three major telecoms companies operating in Tanzania – Tigo, Airtel and Zantel – are to adopt interoperable mobile money services by the end of the month, the first agreement of its kind of Africa.
Wednesday, June 04, 2014 — No Region Specified

How Mobile Phone Carriers Are Helping Insure The 4 Billion People Who Live Without A Safety Net

Source: Fast CoExist

With this system, every time a customer tops up his SIM card, he gets free insurance coverage. The model helps carriers increase brand loyalty and gets people in poverty comfortable with the emerging concept of micro-insurance.
Monday, June 02, 2014 — No Region Specified

In India, Telcos Ride Piggy Back on Migrant Workers, Bet Big on Mobile Money

Source: The New India Express

KOCHI: If the initial responses are any indication, the ubiquitous mobile phone is set to become a tool for financial inclusion in Ernakulam district.
Monday, June 02, 2014 — No Region Specified

MobiKash launches mobile merchant payment service in Kenya

Source: Human IPO

MobiKash Afrika has unveiled a merchant payment service to deliver mobile money transactions in real time, making cashless transactions at the grassroots level a reality for thousands of Kenyans.
Thursday, May 29, 2014 — No Region Specified

U.N. Vows to Eliminate Open Defecation by 2025

Source: Inter Press Service

At the height of his election campaign last October, Narendra Modi, India’s Hindu nationalist leader, briefly set aside his spiritual aspirations when he told a surprised audience that economic development should take precedence over religion.
Thursday, May 29, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Kenya’s Virtual Operators Add Twist To Mobile Money Revolution

Source: AFK Insider

A move by the Kenya communication regulator to license three mobile virtual network operators (MNVO) – that don’t own their own communication infrastructure – is expected to expected to increase competition in the mobile money segment of the market that has been for the last couple of year dominated by a single player.
Wednesday, May 28, 2014 — No Region Specified

PRESS RELEASE: Landmark Agreement with MasterCard, Bank of Punjab Designed to Bring Financial Inclusion to Millions in Pakistan

Source: The Wall Street Journal

Landmark Agreement with MasterCard, Bank of Punjab will Issue Payment Cards to Citizens, Empowering the Unbanked Population
Tuesday, May 27, 2014 — No Region Specified

Mobile offers brighter future for Africa's rural homes

Source: BBC News

John Kibet's home in rural Kenya is not linked to the country's electricity grid.
Tuesday, May 27, 2014 — No Region Specified

M-Pesa Rival Bitpesa Unveils Pilot of Bitcoin Remittance Service in Kenya

Source: AllAfrica

Kenya's BitPesa has launched a pilot or beta version of its solution which allows diaspora Kenyans to send money back home with ease and at affordable rates.
Tuesday, May 27, 2014 — No Region Specified

Chilasa Invests in Indian green building products manufacturer Ecoway Bricks

Source: Chilasa Venture Philanthropy

Chilasa Venture Philanthropy, a pioneer in small enterprise growth in poor communities, today announced a new investment to support the expansion of Ecoway Bricks PVT LTD, a manufacturer of environmental building products made from rice husk ash.
Thursday, May 22, 2014 — No Region Specified

Is For-Profit the Future of Non-Profit?

Source: The Atlantic

The troubling allure of turning philanthropy into consumer activity
Thursday, May 22, 2014 — No Region Specified

OPINON: South Africa’s mobile money success requires telco, bank collaboration

Source: ITWeb Africa

South African cellular companies must collaborate with banking institutions to ensure an increase in the uptake of mobile money services in the country, an Ericsson official has said.
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.
Wednesday, May 21, 2014 — No Region Specified

Axa builds 'fund of funds' for socially responsible investing

Source: The Guardian

Axa's Impact Investment Initiative pulls together small pools of capital to create large-scale positive social impact
Tuesday, May 20, 2014 — No Region Specified

Somaliland has embraced mobile money – but at what price?

Source: The Guardian

Mobile money platform Zaad is booming in Somaliland, but there is concern its reliance on the dollar is damaging the economy
Monday, May 19, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Mobile money use on the rise in West Africa

Source: PC Advisor

Various strategies are being used to encourage use of mobile money services
Friday, May 16, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Vodacom Tanzania, CBA launch mobile money banking product

Source: HumanIPO

Vodacom Tanzania and Commercial Bank of Africa (CBA) have launched a banking service named M-Pawa allowing Tanzanians to save and borrow money on their mobile phones.
Friday, May 16, 2014 — No Region Specified

Why Government Should Help Poor People Get Bank Accounts

Source: Governing

The former head of consumer affairs in New York City explains why helping the poor manage money more wisely would also help government manage their money more wisely.
Thursday, May 15, 2014 — No Region Specified

PRESS RELEASE: MIX Introduces Groundbreaking System For Analyzing Data On Financially Underserved Communities

Source: PR Newswire

First Platform for Coordinated Delivery of Responsible Financial Services to the Unbanked
Wednesday, May 14, 2014 — No Region Specified

Citi starts Latin American mobile startup challenge

Source: Banking Technology

Citi is hosting a major new mobile innovation competition in Latin America. Called the Mobile Challenge LatAm 2014, the competition aims to bring together individuals and companies with innovative ideas to create applications for Citi’s Latin America mobile banking platform.
Wednesday, May 14, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Promoting Access to Finance in Nigeria

Source: This Day Live

The introduction of the tiered Know-Your-Customer regime for potential bank customers will drive the country’s quest for improved access to finance, writes Obinna Chima In most developing countries, large population of low income earners has little access to financial services.
Tuesday, May 13, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Africa Progress Report Asks Governments To Promote Mobile Banking

Source: AFK Insider

A new report has urged African governments to emulate Kenya in supporting the development of mobile banking and electronic commerce to increase financial inclusion.
Monday, May 12, 2014 — No Region Specified

Tanzania: Mobile Money Services Register Boom

Source: AllAfrica

It is estimated that 2.5 billion people around the world are unbanked. They lack financial services needed to invest in their livelihoods, protect their assets, and avoid falling deeper into poverty.
Monday, May 12, 2014 — No Region Specified

How Non-Profits Are Cashing In on the Cryptocurrency Boom

Source: Motherboard

Bitcoin is often discussed as the backbone of the online drug trade, an interesting speculative investment, or simply a futuristic way to order pizza. But proponents say the cryptocurrency also has great potential for the nonprofit world.
Friday, May 09, 2014 — No Region Specified

10-year-olds can open and operate a bank account alone, says Reserve Bank of India

Source: The Times of India

Children older than 10 years will no longer need the help of their parents or guardians to open and operate a savings bank account. To boost financial inclusion, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on Tuesday said that banks were at liberty to allow minors above 10 years to independently open and operate savings bank accounts.
Friday, May 09, 2014 — No Region Specified

PRESS RELEASE: Accion Venture Lab Invests in RevolutionCredit

Source: Press Release

Accion, a pioneer and leader in financial inclusion, today announced an investment in the financial capability and behavioral-credit insight company RevolutionCredit, through Accion Venture Lab, a $10 million initiative dedicated to providing seed capital and management support to financial inclusion start-ups.
Wednesday, May 07, 2014 — No Region Specified

OPINION via Tony O. Elumelu: CSR as an anti-poverty instrument

Source: The Hindu Business Line

In 2000, the United Nations made the historic announcement of eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). They were very specific and had a timeline of 15 years for delivery. Progress on most of these objectives has been encouraging, but as we look towards the next round of development goals, we must recognise how the world has changed since 2000.
Tuesday, May 06, 2014 — No Region Specified

Making banking more secure, convenient through verification number

Source: Nigerian Tribune

The World Bank Group’s newly launched Global Financial Development Report 2014 on Financial Inclusion estimated that half the world’s adults, approximately 2.5 billion individuals, do not have an account with a formal financial institution.
Tuesday, May 06, 2014 — No Region Specified

Forget Banks: If Bitcoin Is Going To Change The World, Then This Is The Real Competition

Source: Business Insider

A central conceit of Bitcoin evangelists is that the cryptocurrency could be most useful to "the global unbanked."
Monday, May 05, 2014 — No Region Specified

BLOG: Momentum Builds for 100 Percent Impact Investment Movement

Source: Huffington Post

When I first started working in impact investing, the field's challenges were foundational: refining the concept, finding suitable investments, figuring out how to measure impact, even determining what to call the concept. Work in all those areas continues, but the field has matured to the point where it's on the agenda of the G8, finance conglomerates feel they need to have an impact product, and the mainstream business press is taking notice (if skeptically). N
Monday, May 05, 2014 — South Asia

Indian microfinance bank Bandhan plans to open 600 branches

Source: The Hindu

Microfinance outfit Bandhan Financial Services Ltd., which got a banking licence from the Reserve Bank of India on April 9, is planning to open around 600 branches, its Chairman and Managing Director Chandra Sekhar Ghosh said.
Friday, May 02, 2014 — Asia Pacific

Philippines Using Postal Banks to Advance Financial Inclusion

Source: Philippine Information Agency

The Philippine Postal Savings Bank (Postbank) inaugurated Tuesday this week two branches of its Microfinance Banking Office (MBO) or Bangko sa Nayon in Albay alongside the government efforts to pursue inclusive growth particularly on the countryside.
Friday, May 02, 2014 — South Asia

Reserve Bank of India May Allow MFIs to Function as Business Correspondents of Banks

Source: The Free Press Journal

However, the move has faced serious opposition from various departments in the central bank.
Friday, May 02, 2014 — Latin America

Microfinancing Mexico Via Responsible Tourism Activities

Source: Travel Weekly

Fundacion En Via aims to empower women in Mexican villages with interest-free loans and business coaching.
Thursday, May 01, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Bottom of the Pyramid Business Strategy in Nigeria

Source: New Telegraph Online

The BOP concept champions new thinking and new ways of doing business in the world’s poor markets.
Thursday, May 01, 2014 — No Region Specified

E-banking Central to Uruguay Financial Inclusion Law

Source: BN Americas

Electronic banking services will play a central role in Uruguay's new financial inclusion law, approved by the senate last week, local paper Espectador reported.
Thursday, May 01, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Uganda’s Bank of Africa Unveils Mobile Banking Platform

Source: Human IPO

Uganda’s Bank of Africa (BOA) has launched a mobile banking platform geared towards earning the bank a larger market share amongst those using mobile money as a way of doing business.
Wednesday, April 30, 2014 — No Region Specified

38% of payments made in Swaziland are through mobile money

Source: Swazi Observer

The Centre for Financial Regulation (CENFRI) states that MM was one of the many market payments available in the country together with eWallet, credit electronic fund transfer (EFT), debit EFT, Point of Sale (POS), paper based to name but a few.
Wednesday, April 30, 2014 — No Region Specified

9 telecoms announce interoperable mobile money

Source: Telecom Lead

Mobile money services have gained momentum with 9 telecoms — Airtel, Etisalat, Millicom, MTN, Ooredoo, Orange, STC, Vodafone, Zain – decided to accelerate the implementation of interoperable services across Africa and the Middle East.
Wednesday, April 30, 2014 — No Region Specified

Pathway to Greater Financial Inclusion in Nigeria

Source: This Day Live

Obinna Chima reckons that the planned registration of Bank Verification Numbers for customers from May will strengthen the country’s drive for financial inclusion.
Tuesday, April 29, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

SMEs in Developing World Need More Than $2 Trillion, Says International Finance Corporation

Source: allAfrica

The International Finance Corporation (IFC), the private sector arm of the World Bank Group has estimated this financial needs of small and medium scale enterprises in Africa and other developing countries.
Tuesday, April 29, 2014 — South Asia

Lok Capital Sells its Stake and Leaves RuralShores Business Services

Source: The Economic Times

mpact investment firm Lok Capital has exited its portfolio company RuralShores Business Services by selling its stake in the rural business process outsourcing (BPO) company to an unnamed strategic investor.
Monday, April 28, 2014 — No Region Specified

The do's and don'ts of agent banking

Source: The Financial Express

Agent banking is now a buzzword in the banking industry. Its importance is immense in paving the way for financial inclusion. But, many of us, including bankers, still do not have a clear perception of agent banking, its services, risks and responsibility and other regulatory issues.
Friday, April 25, 2014 — No Region Specified

African Development Bank’s SME Program: Enhancing Inclusive Growth and Job Creation in Africa

Source: AfDB

The Board of Governors of the African Development Bank Group (AfDB) through its private sector window has approved a US $9 million line of credit (LOC) equivalent in Mozambique metica (MZN) to Moza Banco.
Friday, April 25, 2014 — No Region Specified

OPINION: Indian government and RBI should end their indecisiveness on financial inclusion

Source: Business Standard

Perhaps on no issue have the finance ministry and the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) been in concordance over the past several years - except for financial inclusion.
Friday, April 25, 2014 — No Region Specified

In Zimbabwe, Econet and Western Union to integrate money transfer systems

Source: All Africa

ECONET Wireless has entered into a commercial arrangement with global money transfer agency Western Union that will enable people to send money from abroad to account holders of its mobile money transfer platform EcoCash. This means EcoCash account holders will not need to physically visit Western Union branches to receive money sent through the money transfer agency.
Wednesday, April 23, 2014 — No Region Specified

Press Release: Citi Issues 2013 Global Citizenship Report

Source: Press Release

Citi today released its 14th Global Citizenship Report, an annual overview addressing the company’s social, environmental and governance achievements and challenges. The 2013 Citi Global Citizenship Report underscores Citi’s goal of enabling progress for clients and communities around the world.
Monday, April 21, 2014 — No Region Specified

MasterCard funding Grameen Foundation initiative to bring financial services to the unbanked in Kenya

Source: Tech President

MasterCard is funding a Grameen Foundation initiative to bring financial services to the poor and the unbanked in Kenya.
Monday, April 21, 2014 — No Region Specified

Mor panel's financial inclusion report may be put on back burner in India

Source: Business Standard

The Union finance ministry and the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) have raised questions on viability and implementation of the recommendations made in the Nachiket Mor committee's report. The panel had, among other things, suggested a new banking structure to foster financial inclusion.
Monday, April 21, 2014 — No Region Specified

Postal bank test awaits new government in India

Source: The Telegraph India

he high profile spat between the Reserve Bank of India and the finance ministry over converting India’s loss-making 1.54 lakh post offices under India Post into a bank is likely to be one of the challenging issues that the next government will have to handle.
Monday, April 21, 2014 — No Region Specified

Postal bank test awaits new government in India

Source: The Telegraph India

he high profile spat between the Reserve Bank of India and the finance ministry over converting India’s loss-making 1.54 lakh post offices under India Post into a bank is likely to be one of the challenging issues that the next government will have to handle.
Thursday, April 17, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Meet the Women Trading Sudan's First Carbon Credits

Source: The Guardian

Cleaner stoves have saved Sudan over 36,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions and earned the country its first carbon credits.
Tuesday, April 15, 2014 — South Asia

Firms Investing in Social Sector Have deployed $1.6 B in India since 2000

Source: Live Mint

According to a report, the number of foreign investors looking to invest in the social sector has increased.
Friday, April 11, 2014 — No Region Specified

Value lending for MFIs to reduce risk

Source: The Financial Express

Tara Thiagarajan, chairman & MD of non-banking finance company-micro finance institution (NBFC-MFI) Madura Microfinance, is trying out a unique experiment.
Wednesday, April 09, 2014 — No Region Specified

Mobile money is transforming financial access in Tanzania

Source: Daily News

Tanzania had envisioned through the National Financial Inclusion Framework of 2011 to have 50 per cent of the adult population having access to financial services by 2016, but it has so far managed to surpass the target, according to a recently released FinScope Tanzania 2013 report.
Tuesday, April 08, 2014 — Latin America

Incofin Investment Management’s Rural Impulse Fund Acquires Equity Stake in FIELCO From Accion Gateway Fund

Source: MicroCapital

FIELCO expects to use Incofin IM’s expertise in international microfinance to “strengthen its governance, focus on social performance and overall structure”
Tuesday, April 08, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Mobile Money Security is Kenya’s Next Big Challenge

Source: IT Web Africa

Attention needs to be paid to the security of mobile money systems in Kenya especially with the licensing of three virtual network operators in the country, say experts.
Tuesday, April 08, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

MTN, Airtel Announce Cross Border Remittance Deal in West Africa

Source: Human IPO

The partnership will allow MTN customers in Ivory Coast and Airtel customers in Burkina Faso to transfer money between the neighboring countries.
Monday, April 07, 2014 — No Region Specified

Commercial banks in India increasingly targeting low-income borrowers

Source: Deccan Herald

At a time when microfinance institutions (MFIs) are getting into the banking business, commercial banks too have developed a liking for lending directly to the poor -- an area until now dominated by traditional MFIs and informal lenders.
Monday, April 07, 2014 — No Region Specified

Making Mobile Money More Effective in Nigeria

Source: This Day Live

A recent survey that showed that 37 per cent of Nigerians are not aware of mobile money and as such, do not use the payment platform, is worrisome. According to the report by Philip Consulting, out of the remaining 63 per cent respondents that knew about mobile money, 31 per cent were between the ages of 26 and 35 and constituted the majority.
Friday, April 04, 2014 — No Region Specified

OPINION: Why RBI’s decision on a Post Bank of India is a slap for Finance Ministry

Source: First Post India

The RBI’s decision on Wednesday to “consider” the application of Department of Posts for a banking license “separately in consultation with the Government of India” is literally a slap in the face for the finance ministry.
Friday, April 04, 2014 — No Region Specified

OPINION: The Reserve Bank of India's welcome conservatism

Source: Business Standard

More than four years after the then Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee announced the government's intention to issue more banking licences, this has indeed been done. In 2010, there was much fervour about financial inclusion and, against that backdrop, new banks were seen as an important means of boosting capacity and penetration of financial services.
Thursday, April 03, 2014 — South Asia

India Announces First Bank Licences in a Decade

Source: Global Post

India on Wednesday announced it was issuing two new bank licenses for the first time in a decade as it accelerates a push to bring more Indians into the formal banking system.
Thursday, April 03, 2014 — South Asia

Reorienting Financial Inclusion in India

Source: The Financial Express

Fixing small business finance is a great place to start improving financial inclusion. This is a reform that is overdue and should not wait.
Monday, March 31, 2014 — No Region Specified

Vodafone to roll out M-Pesa services in Andhra Pradesh, Kerala

Source: The Hindu Business Line

Vodafone India and ICICI Bank are planning to roll out mobile money transfer and payment service in Andhra Pradesh and Kerala. With this, Vodafone India will cover almost all states in India, thereby enabling people to send, deposit or receive money through mobile phones.
Friday, March 28, 2014 — No Region Specified

Banks Outshine Agriculture, Manufacturing in GDP Input in Rwanda

Source: All Africa

Prime Minister Pierre-Damien Habumuremyi, yesterday, presented to both chambers of Parliament highlights of the performance of the service industry with focus on financial institutions, noting that the country is on course to achieving its targeted financial inclusion.
Wednesday, March 26, 2014 — No Region Specified

Ministry’s scepticism, Aadhaar issues hang over Nachiket Mor financial inclusion plan in India

Source: Live Mint

The finance ministry has questioned the practicality of some recommendations made by a panel formed by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to promote financial inclusion, including a 1 January 2016 deadline it has set for making an Aadhaar-linked bank account available to every adult Indian.
Wednesday, March 26, 2014 — No Region Specified

Ghana’s Fidelity Bank inaugurates agency banking

Source: Ghana Web

Fidelity Bank has inaugurated its new banking model, known as Fidelity Agency banking, which allows the bank to use shops and supermarkets as bank agents, called as Fidelity Smart Agents.
Wednesday, March 26, 2014 — No Region Specified

Opportunity International & The MasterCard Foundation Plan To Help 7M Out of Poverty With $22.7M Partnership

Source: Forbes

Opportunity International is a non-profit microfinance organization established in 1971. Over the last 42 years OI has provided $6 billion in microfinance loans and has reached over 5 million clients in 22 countries. In 2009, The MasterCard MA -1.08% Foundation and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation partnered with OI and co-funded a $16 million project to expand access to saving accounts and agricultural loans in Sub-Saharan Africa.
Wednesday, March 26, 2014 — No Region Specified

Mobile network operators team up in Sri Lanka to provide mobile money to 60% of population

Source: The Island

Etisalat joined Dialog’s eZ Cash mobile money platform on Monday, enabling a combined subscriber base of 12.7 million —over 60% of the country’s population— to enjoy ‘seamless and convenient mobile money services’ that lets them deposit, send or receive money and pay utility bills, insurance premia and engage in other transactions.
Wednesday, March 26, 2014 — No Region Specified

Annapurna Microfinance raises $5M in Series B funding

Source: VCCircle

Odisha-based Annapurna Microfinance Pvt Ltd (AMPL) has raised Rs 30 crore (around $5 million) in a Series B round of funding led by Belgian Investment Company for Developing Countries (BIO), with participation from the existing investor Incofin Investment Management's Rural Impulse Fund II.
Wednesday, March 26, 2014 — No Region Specified

Central Bank of Nigeria gives room for microfinance bank mergers and acquisitions

Source: Business Day

There is an expectation of stronger microfinance banks (MFBs) in the country if the micro institutions that could not meet with their recapitalisation requirements, successfully engage and conclude with mergers and acquisition as they are directed by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
Tuesday, March 25, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Why Insurers are Looking to Kenya’s Low-Income Earners for New Business

Source: Standard Digital Business

Low-income earners have traditionally been underserved when it comes to being provided with avenues to manage the risks they face every day.
Tuesday, March 25, 2014 — South Asia

OPINION: India’s Mor Report on Financial Inclusion Doesn’t Focus Enough on Expanding Access to Credit

Source: Business Standard

The Committee on Comprehensive Financial Services for Small Businesses and Low-Income Households (the Nachiket Mor Committee on financial inclusion) has delivered a detailed report in a very short time.
Monday, March 24, 2014 — No Region Specified

Saving Nigeria’s micro-finance banking sector

Source: The Sun

The recent approval of the liquidation of 83 micro-finance banks (MFBs) by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) is bad news from the banking sector. It is worrisome that as many as 83 of these institutions are going under, barely four years after 224 of them were declared insolvent in 2010, with attendant negative implications for depositors’ funds.
Friday, March 21, 2014 — No Region Specified

Human-Centered Design: The Key to Mobile Money Adoption?

Source: Mondato

While mobile money is now available in almost every emerging market, active usage remains low. In fact, only about 30 percent of registered mobile money accounts are actively used, according to the most recent GSMA State of the Industry report. Bridging this crucial gap between registration and active usage will require providers to design products and services that are not simply ‘great ideas,’ but that truly meet the needs of end users.
Wednesday, March 19, 2014 — No Region Specified

InVenture raises $1.2-million to help serve emerging markets’ underbanked

Source: ventureburn

InVenture is a credit score for anyone with a mobile phone. In order to expand its phone-based personal finance software, InSight, which generates financial identities and credit scores for the underbanked in South Asia and Africa, the startup has recently raised US$1.2-million.
Tuesday, March 18, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Accion Microfinance Bank Share capital Reaches N1.205bn in Nigeria

Source: Business Day Online Nigeria

The micro finance bank’s robust financial base reflects on over N21.7billion disbursed in loans to more than 110,000 customers since inception.
Monday, March 17, 2014 — No Region Specified

Headline: Financial Inclusion: Banking on Retail Agents in Nigeria

Source: This Day Live

Given the high percentage of the unbanked population in the country, there have been a lot of initiatives targeted at bringing more people into the banking system. Today, Nigerian banks are increasingly developing products that support the financial inclusion initiative of the Bankers’ Committee, one of which is retail agency
Monday, March 17, 2014 — No Region Specified

Kenya leads African peers in financial access

Source: Standard Digital

Kenya has taken a great leap forward to enjoy better financial access compared to her peers in the continent. The country claims the second highest level of financial inclusion only after South Africa.
Friday, March 14, 2014 — No Region Specified

PRESS RELEASE: Accion Supports Sale of Mibanco to Financiera Edyficar

Source: Press Release

Accion, a leader in microfinance and financial inclusion, today announced its support for the sale of Mibanco to Financiera Edyficar, which is owned by Grupo Credicorp, following the regulatory approval of the sale obtained this week.
Friday, March 14, 2014 — No Region Specified

Reserve Bank of India to issue much-awaited banking licenses to reshape banking sector

Source: DNA India

The next generation of banking structure will be the first step to a thousand mile journey to make India the third largest banking economy in the world. The issue of "on-tap" new banking licenses will prove to be a game changer for the Indian banking industry.
Friday, March 14, 2014 — No Region Specified

Boosting Financial Inclusion in Nigeria with Mobile Money, Electronic Cards

Source: This Day Live

Nigeria is bent on achieving financial inclusion through the ongoing cashless initiative, but the exercise is rather too slow, hence the need to increase awareness campaign on the use of mobile money and electronic cards as alternative channels, writes Emma Okonji.
Friday, March 14, 2014 — No Region Specified

American Express Spotlights the Issue of Financial Exclusion in Davis Guggenheim Doc "Spent"

Source: Fast Co.Create

Part of a larger Amex initiative to address financial inclusion, Spent: Looking for Change reveals the dismal state of basic banking service access for many Americans.
Thursday, March 13, 2014 — South Asia

India Has Millions of Female Entrepreneurs and They Need Easier Access to Money

Source: The Wall Street Journal India

While there may not be many women occupying the executive offices of India, the country is home to literally millions of female entrepreneurs, in charge of their own tiny businesses, according to estimates by the International Finance Corp.
Thursday, March 13, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

PRESS RELEASE: First Access and Vodacom Tanzania Ink Financial Inclusion Deal

Source: CSR Wire

Partnership offers financial institutions the ability to purchase instant risk scores from First Access based on prepaid mobile phone records.
Thursday, March 13, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Financial Literacy an Imperative for Inclusion in Nigeria

Source: Leadership Nigeria

Of the adult population, 17 per cent are served by informal institutions and 46 per cent are completely excluded. These 58 million unbanked Nigerians are the primary targets of Financial Inclusion.
Wednesday, March 12, 2014 — No Region Specified

FinScope reveals significant increase in financial services inclusion in South Africa

Source: EPROP

FinMark Trust annual FinScope South Africa 2013 survey results reveals a significant increase in financial inclusion compared to last year from 28.9 million people in 2012, to 30.7 million in 2013.
Tuesday, March 11, 2014 — No Region Specified

AmEx Pushes Tech to Bank the Unbanked

Source: FinExtra

America's unbanked and underbanked spent $78 billion on fees and interest in 2011; $30 billion in overdraft fees. Meanwhile, 93% of branch closures over the last five years have been in low-income neighbourhoods.
Tuesday, March 11, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

United Bank for Africa Strengthens E-banking Channels to Boost Financial Inclusion

Source: Business Day Online Nigeria

The Division head said that UBA’s innovative e-Channels have accorded the customers triple gains of financial control, convenience and security.
Tuesday, March 11, 2014 — South Asia

Microfinance Institutions Network Seeks Early Implementation of Mor Panel Report in India

Source: The Financial Express

"Our customers are demanding number of banking services from MFIs. They want services beyond loan offerings, including insurance, invesment opportunities, inter-bank trading services, where banks find it difficult to provide services due to various reasons," said Alok Prasad, chief executive officer (CEO), MFIN.
Monday, March 10, 2014 — No Region Specified

Digital financial inclusion is vital to India’s poor citizens, says Gates

Source: Live Mint

India is poised to lead the world in connecting the poor to bank accounts through mobile phones. This is an ambitious goal. According to the World Bank, only 35% of Indians use formal financial services right now. But India can get to 100%, and if it does hundreds of millions of Indians will be able to create better opportunities for themselves and their families.
Monday, March 10, 2014 — No Region Specified

Mobile banking flourishing in Pakistan

Source: Daily Times

The recent years have witnessed a revolutionary concept of social and economic services among them financial services landscape that are fast changing with introduction of innovative mobile payments (m-payment) systems.
Monday, March 10, 2014 — No Region Specified

Women in Kenya stay united to reap benefits from micro-loans

Source: Coastweek

Women in Kenya are reaping huge from micro-lending institutions because of their ability to form groups and stay united. The women, majority who are in groups commonly known as chamas, are the biggest beneficiaries of micro-loans in the East African nation.
Friday, March 07, 2014 — No Region Specified

OPINION: Mobile and Money Remittance - A Perfect Match

Source: Mobile Payments Today

Mobile makes money transfers faster and more convenient and it has the potential to reduce bottlenecks in branches.
Friday, March 07, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Kenya’s Mobile Money Competition to Heat Up

Source: IT Web Africa

Traditional mobile money transfer companies in Kenya could be headed for tight competition if other large volume traders are given licences to enter the field.
Friday, March 07, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Behavioral Change Tops Challenges for Mobile Money Use in West Africa

Source: PC Adivsor

Cultural factors slow down the embrace of mobile money services.
Wednesday, March 05, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Key Drivers of Financial Innovation in Zimbabwe

Source: All Africa

Financial innovation can be defined as the act of creating and then popularising new financial instruments, technologies, institutions, markets, processes and business models, including the new application of existing ideas in a different market context.
Wednesday, March 05, 2014 — No Region Specified

American Bankers Association and Operation HOPE to collaborate to maximize youth and adult empowerment

Source: ConsumerElectronics.net

The American Bankers Association and Operation HOPE announced a new partnership to expand financial literacy empowerment, economic energy, and good credit for youth and adults over the next two years.
Tuesday, March 04, 2014 — No Region Specified

PRESS RELEASE: Accion Venture Lab Invests in eMoneyPool

Source: Accion.org

March 4, 2014 – Today Accion announced an investment in digital savings company eMoneyPool (EMP) through its Venture Lab, a $10 million initiative dedicated to providing seed capital and management support to financial inclusion start-ups.
Tuesday, March 04, 2014 — South Asia

Mobile banking key to financial inclusion in Bangladesh

Source: The Daily Star

Mobile banking is the perfect platform for Bangladesh to take financial services to the country's largely unbanked population in an efficient and low-cost manner, an analyst from Visa said.
Tuesday, March 04, 2014 — South Asia

Indian banks gung-ho about financial inclusion, but not agents

Source: The Hindu Business Line

Financial inclusion is not yet a profitable proposition, but banks remain gung-ho about the initiative, predicting future dividends from the market reach that comes with improved access to finance.
Monday, March 03, 2014 — No Region Specified

Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe moves to end “mobile war” between telecommunications players

Source: The Standard

THE Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) has directed mobile payment system operators that want to enter into exclusive arrangements with agents to seek permission as the central bank moves to end the “mobile war” between telecommunications players.
Monday, March 03, 2014 — No Region Specified

What if America's unbanked had mobile wallets?

Source: CNN Money

Delivering financial services to the world's unbanked masses is not a topic that usually includes a developed economy like the United States. That's because Africa is the global leader in this area. Its mobile network operators are boosting their bottom lines and raising standards of living by offering mobile wallets to the unbanked -- making it possible to conduct a variety of transactions from person-to-person money transfers to bill payments and point-of-sale purchases.
Friday, February 28, 2014 — No Region Specified

BlackBerry plans mobile money services

Source: The Hindu Business Line

Canadian smartphone maker Blackberry sees India as a key market for launching its mobile money services. The company plans to launch money transfer services on the Blackberry Messenger platform in partnership with local banks.
Friday, February 28, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Central Bank of Nigeria to extend cashless policy nationwide

Source: This Day Live

The Central Bank of Nigeria Acting Governor, Dr. Sarah Alade, Wednesday said the bankers’ committee will not rescind on the plan to extend the cashless policy to other states in the country from July 1.
Wednesday, February 26, 2014 — No Region Specified

MTN and Ecobank offer Ghana subscribers access to cardless ATM services

Source: HumanIPO

MTN Ghana has partnered with Ecobank for the extension of cardless services to the bank’s ATMs across Ghana, allowing more than two million mobile money subscribers in the country to withdraw from Ecobank ATMs without using a card.
Wednesday, February 26, 2014 — No Region Specified

Mobile banking spreading to Asia and Latin America

Source: SciDevNet

Mobile money services for people without access to the traditional financial system are spreading at an increasing pace beyond Africa, according to a report released yesterday (24 February) at the Mobile World Congress 2014 in Barcelona, Spain.
Wednesday, February 26, 2014 — No Region Specified

Unbanked consumers bypassing banks, going straight into mobile money, says Citigroup

Source: Billing World

Just as the mobile phone transformed the communications industry, it seems clear that mobile financial services are poised to transform the financial sector. Speaking on the second day of Mobile World Congress 2014 here in Barcelona, Michael Corbat, chief executive officer of U.S. multinational financial services company Citigroup, made the point that while more than 3 billion people have a mobile phone, only 2 billion people have a bank account.
Tuesday, February 25, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Kenya's Equity Bank Seeks Share of Telco Business

Source: Daily Nation

An Equity Bank branch in Dadaab. In a move likely to upset the apple­cart in the telecom sector, Equity Bank has applied for a license to operate a mobile telephone business.
Tuesday, February 25, 2014 — South Asia

State Bank of Pakistan Launches 5-year Strategic Plan for Islamic Banking

Source: Pakistan Observer

This was discussed by Saeed Ahmed Deputy Governor of State Bank of Pakistan on Islamic Finance in his opening remarks at a two day workshop on Islamic Banking and Finance for journalists organized by SBP here on Monday.
Monday, February 24, 2014 — No Region Specified

PRESS RELEASE: World's first international mobile money service with currency conversion launched

Source: The Wall Street Journal

Today, for the first time ever, mobile money users will be able to transfer cash across borders with currency conversion automatically included.
Monday, February 24, 2014 — No Region Specified

Tanzania: Mobile Money Tranfers Gaining Popularity

Source: All Africa

Financial transactions have always been a challenge for rural, poor people in Tanzania. M-Pesa, an immensely popular system of money transfer via mobile phone, has made life much easier.
Monday, February 24, 2014 — No Region Specified

Banks in Zimbabwe face new threat from mobile money

Source: The Standard

LOCAL banks face a tough hurdle as the emergence of mobile money transfer services (MMTS) appears to pose a serious threat to their survival.
Friday, February 21, 2014 — No Region Specified

New Grant to Aid Businesses Creating Jobs, Services for Poor

Source: Asian Development Bank

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and development partners will use a new $3.6 million grant to support around 20 private sector businesses in Asia targeting poor and low-income communities.
Thursday, February 20, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Visa Partners with Airtel in Kenya to Launch Global Mobile Money Visa Card

Source: Tech Moran

According to Visa’s Head of Emerging Products & Innovation for Africa, Dougie Henderson said: “This strategic partnership with Airtel and Chase Bank brings the benefits of electronic payments to the under banked in Kenya by being innovative in mobile money services.
Thursday, February 20, 2014 — South Asia

Indian bank launches “Branch on Wheels”

Source: My Iris

The 'Branch on Wheels' is a first of its kind initiative by any private sector bank in India.
Thursday, February 20, 2014 — South Asia

Mastercard Exec Discusses Business Opportunities and Challenges in India

Source: Live Mint

India has some challenges because it is such a huge country. The population is divided into different strata of people whom you are trying to reach out to.
Wednesday, February 19, 2014 — No Region Specified

Airtel Money generates 30m transactions worth $1b monthly in Africa

Source: Mobile-Financial

With its activities cutting across 15 countries in Africa, the Airtel Money has been described as a significant contributor to the mobile financial sector in Africa as it generates a monthly average of 30M transactions valued at $1 billion from an active base of 5 million customers.
Wednesday, February 19, 2014 — No Region Specified

Proof of identity hindering Nigeria’s N1.1trn mobile money business

Source: Business Day

The lack of generally accepted proofs of formal identification required to assist service providers navigate KYC (Know Your Customer) concerns has been identified as a major drawback to the success of mobile money operations in Nigeria, according to a new report released by Lafferty Group and obtained by BusinessDay on Tuesday.
Tuesday, February 18, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

The Telecom That Developed M-Pesa Is Boxing Competitors Out Of The Mobile Money Market

Source: Business Insider

Kenyan Telecom rejects push by competitors to use its money transfer agents.
Tuesday, February 18, 2014 — South Asia

Payment Banks as Financial Levellers

Source: Live Mint

Payment banks and universal electronic bank accounts can bring about genuine financial inclusion
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