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
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

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 14, 2014 — No Region Specified

Kenya officially gives green light to three mobile virtual network operators

Source: IT Web Africa

Kenya’s number of mobile money players could jump from four to seven after the country has officially awarded three mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) licences this week.
Monday, April 14, 2014 — No Region Specified

In India, Bandhan’s banking licence signals competition for rural microfinance

Source: Business Standard

According to MFIs operating in rural areas, private banks have been charging interest rates of 24-26 per cent on a reducing balance.
Friday, April 11, 2014 — No Region Specified

Tigo partners with 17 banks on cash transfers

Source: Daily News

TIGO has partnered with 17 major banks in Tanzania to enable its clients send and receive money through transactions between the banks and Tigo Pesa.
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 has moved from this new thing into an industry,’ says MasterCard

Source: How We Made It In Africa

Close to 70% of the world’s active mobile money customers are in sub-Saharan Africa, according to Aaron Oliver, head of emerging payments for Middle East and Africa at MasterCard.
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

OPINION: Only New Products Will Keep MFIs Growing in Rwanda

Source: allAfrica

Through innovation, it is possible for the sector to financially reach the unbanked population and drive home the EDPRS II objectives, especially in the rural areas.
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.
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

India’s Bandhan aims to replicate its microfinance model as a full-fledged commercial bank

Source: The Hindu Business Line

Having started commercial micro-finance operations in 2005, Bandhan Financial Services Pvt Ltd is now set to become a full fledged commercial bank, headquartered in Kolkata. In an interview to Business Line, Chairman and Managing Director Chandra Shekhar Ghosh explains why Bandhan bank will bring a common man’s perspective into banking.
Friday, April 04, 2014 — No Region Specified

Why different parts of Africa have widely different levels of success with mobile banking

Source: Banking Technology

Why are different parts of Africa experiencing widely different levels of success with mobile banking, despite years of experience in Kenya? Panellists at the IPS conference in London offered a range of explanations
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

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.
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.
Tuesday, April 01, 2014 — No Region Specified

World Bank to Appoint 'Global Practices' Directors This Week

Source: Devex

World Bank President Jim Kim announced on Monday that the appointment of senior directors of the bank’s “global practices” will be finalized later this week ahead of the institution’s spring meetings.
Tuesday, April 01, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Vodafone Brings Africa's M-Pesa Mobile Money to Europe

Source: Reuters

The launch targets 7 M in Romania who mainly use cash and M-Pesa has 16.8 M active customers in emerging markets.
Tuesday, April 01, 2014 — Latin America

Sustaining Recent Social Progress May Require a Squeeze on the Rich

Source: The Economist

Latin Americans, the past dozen years have been remarkable. The region has seen a magical combination of faster economic growth, falling poverty and declining income inequality. Is this unprecedented period of progress over?
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.
Friday, March 28, 2014 — No Region Specified

What will new governor of Zimbabwe’s Reserve Bank mean for mobile money?

Source: TechZim

If you were waiting, the wait is finally over, former CBZ chief and Economist Dr Mangudya will be the new substantive Governor of The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe. This comes at a time when the government is making deliberate efforts to re-position the Reserve Bank as the engine of Zimbabwe’s economic recovery. The Herald reports that Dr Mangudya will assume his reigns at his new no. 80 Samora Machel Ave offices effective 1 May for what could be the first of two five year terms.
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).
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.
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

Banks, Corruption and Crypto: Can Bitcoin Change India?

Source: CoinDesk

Last December, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) issued a warning on digital currencies noting that the bank had not yet authorized any organisation in India to use cryptocurrencies as a method of payment.
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.
Wednesday, March 19, 2014 — No Region Specified

Indian banks develop a liking for microlending

Source: Live Mint

India’s microlending industry, dominated by traditional microfinance institutions (MFIs), is witnessing a re-emergence of interest from commercial banks, which are targeting low-income borrowers.
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.
Tuesday, March 18, 2014 — South Asia

Indian Microfinance Body Seeks RBI Nod for Self-regulatory Status

Source: The Times of India

Last year, the RBI had released guidelines on self-regulation by MFIs in accordance with the recommendations of the Malegam panel set up by the apex bank earlier to look into regulatory aspects of micro-lending following the Andhra Pradesh microfinance crisis of 2010.
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.
Monday, March 17, 2014 — No Region Specified

Addressing financial exclusion in Pakistan

Source: Business Recorder

The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) has adopted a multi-pronged and long-term strategy to address financial exclusion through structured policy and regulatory actions besides market-development interventions.
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.
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

The World Bank Gets An Overhaul — And Not Everyone's Happy

Source: NPR

The World Bank, the largest international development institution, is undergoing a sweeping reorganization, the first of its kind for the bank in nearly a generation. The bank, based in Washington, has laid out a new set of goals, but they're accompanied by deep budget cuts and the elimination of a whole layer of senior management jobs.
Wednesday, March 12, 2014 — No Region Specified

OPINION: Islamic Microfinance can eradicate poverty in Muslim world

Source: Pakistan Observer

Half of global poverty resides in Muslim world while the Muslim population is 24% of the total global population, if the dangerously increasing poverty in the Muslim community is not controlled soon then it will be alarming. These concerns were addressed by Muhammad Zubair Mughal, Chief Executive Officer, AlHuda Centre of Islamic Banking and Economics while speaking at Islamic Microfinance Symposium held at Tunis and organized by Tunis Association of Islamic Economics with association of Islamic Development Bank (IDB) and German Donor Agency GIZ.
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.
Wednesday, March 12, 2014 — No Region Specified

Mobile payment solution from First Bank of Nigeria Ltd secures U.S. $12 Million from Gates Foundation

Source: All Africa

In apparent move to boost the nation's financial inclusion drive, the mobile payment solution from First Bank of Nigeria Ltd, Firstmonie has secured a grant of $12million US dollars from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to execute the project.
Thursday, March 06, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Central Bank of Nigeria Approves Liquidation of 83 Microfinance Banks – NDIC

Source: Mobile Punch Nigeria

The Managing Director, Nigerian Deposit Insurance Corporation, Alhaji Umaru Ibrahim, on Tuesday said that the Central Bank of Nigeria had approved the liquidation of 83 licensed microfinance banks.
Wednesday, March 05, 2014 — No Region Specified

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


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 — 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 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Uganda accuses World Bank of aid blackmail

Source: Business Day

Uganda accused the World Bank of blackmail on Friday after the lender stalled a $90m loan over the east African nation’s adoption of a draconian anti-gay law.
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

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.
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

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.
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.
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.
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 — 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.
Wednesday, February 19, 2014 — No Region Specified

Myanmar caps microfinance loans at $500, sparking MFI concerns about small business growth

Source: International Business Times

A new directive in Myanmar caps microfinance (MFI) loans at $500, which has the sector worried that small business growth could be stifled even as it expands its role within the Southeast Asian economy.
Wednesday, February 19, 2014 — No Region Specified

Central Bank of Nigeria refutes report of imminent shutdown of 600 microfinance banks

Source: WorldStage Group

The Central Bank of Nigeria CBN on Tuesday refuted a recent report that 600 microfinance banks (MFBs) were facing imminent shutdown. According to a statement by the apex bank, its Director, Other Financial Institutions Supervision Department (OFISD), Mr. Olufemi Fabamwo was quoted as saying that the story was totally untrue and misleading.
Tuesday, February 18, 2014 — Asia Pacific

Fears Of China's Shadow Banking Implosion Are Overblown

Source: Forbes

When China Commercial Credit, Inc. planned its IPO on NASDAQ last August, it had to cut the deal size twice because of weak investor appetite. The company ended up raising $8.9 million, only half of its original target.
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
Monday, February 17, 2014 — No Region Specified

Chinese microcredit firm moves into online P2P lending

Source: South China Morning Post

China Commercial Credit, the only mainland microcredit firm listed in the United States, will become the first such company to venture into peer-to-peer (P2P) lending as part of moves to expand beyond its base in Jiangsu province.
Monday, February 17, 2014 — No Region Specified

OPINION: Tech advancements have made India’s banks more vibrant

Source: Economic Times

Over the past decade, the Indian banking sector has seen remarkable progress. It is clearly indicated by their healthy business growth, fast-paced credit expansion and profitability along with control over non-performing assets (NPAs).
Friday, February 14, 2014 — No Region Specified

Are Kenya's mobile banking services unfair?

Source: CNN Money

Safaricom's latest venture M-Shwari hits a speed bump, threatening Kenya's leadership in the global race for mobile money and banking adoption.
Friday, February 14, 2014 — No Region Specified

Column: E-nabling financial inclusion

Source: The Financial Express

The imperative for financial inclusion is both a moral one as well as one based on economic efficiency. Should we not give everyone that is capable the tools and resources to better themselves, and in doing so, better the country?
Friday, February 14, 2014 — No Region Specified

Private banks go offbeat to make inclusion effective

Source: Business Standard

A decade ago, financial inclusion was merely a regulatory compulsion for most private banks in the country. But now many of them have stepped up efforts to improve the penetration of banking services, notwithstanding their disagreement over Nachiket Mor committee's recommendations on financial inclusion.
Wednesday, February 12, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Mobile cash delights tithe-eager pastors in Zimbabwe

Source: New Zimbabwe

PENTECOSTAL churches in Zimbabwe have moved to take advantage of mobile phone penetration rates now said to be about 103.5 percent and the introduction of mobile money platforms to ease their tithe worries.
Tuesday, February 11, 2014 — No Region Specified

Paying for Results: Can Banks and Investors Finance Social Success?

Source: The Guardian

Non-profits for everything from homelessness to pre-school have gone to investors to impose capitalist discipline on programs
Tuesday, February 11, 2014 — South Asia

Reserve Bank of India Eases Lending Norms for Microfinance Institutions

Source: Live Mint

Move gives more leeway to medium-sized micro lenders to price their loans based on their cost borrowings
Friday, February 07, 2014 — No Region Specified

Don't charge to enlarge: the effect of interest rate changes on microfinance access

Source: The Economist

A STORY in the finance section this week looks at what has happened to microfinance interest rates. To summarise briefly: we argue that as microfinance for the very poorest borrowers has expanded, microfinance institutions (MFIs) have had to raise their rates. As MFIs target poorer, less reliable customers, they need to charge higher rates to cover increased defaults and steeper funding costs.
Thursday, February 06, 2014 — No Region Specified

Will T-Mobile be able to sort out America's personal finance woes?

Source: Main St

Not content with conquering one industry, the Seattle-based mobile network company is moving into the realms of personal finance
Wednesday, February 05, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Insolvency among microfinance banks could hamper Nigeria’s financial inclusion strategy

Source: Business Day

The Central Bank of Nigeria’s (CBN) financial inclusion strategy targets a reduction of adult population financially excluded from 46 percent to 20 percent by the year 2020. This objective cannot be achieved completely without active involvement of microfinance banks (MFBs) operating in the country.
Wednesday, February 05, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Authors reveal how banks fought hard to kill M-Pesa

Source: The Star Kenya

Kenyan banks fought tooth and nail to have M-Pesa shut down one year after its launch as its popularity was spreading like bushfire and posed a threat to their operations, a new book launched last evening reveals.
Tuesday, February 04, 2014 — No Region Specified

Banking for All - Drive to ensure world's poor have access to accounts

Source: This Is Money

For banks, there is the chance to harvest the deposits of millions of new customers and establish a presence in small but fast-growing markets.
Monday, February 03, 2014 — No Region Specified

Faster networks to drive mobile money

Source: Business Day

THE roll-out of super-fast mobile networks will aggressively drive the uptake of mobile money services, as research by MEF, the global community for mobile content and commerce, shows a quarter of users say they do not make mobile payments because "the network is too slow".
Friday, January 31, 2014 — No Region Specified

In India, Nachiket Mor defends the need for specialized banks

Source: The Hindu Business Line

Nachiket Mor, Chairman of the RBI's committee on financial inclusion, strongly defended the need to have specialised banks compared to new full service banks. He said that the idea of financial inclusion will be better served in the medium term if specialised banks such as payments only banks and lending only banks are allowed to flourish.
Thursday, January 30, 2014 — South Asia

OPINION: Branches Will Never Result In 100% Financial Inclusion in India

Source: CXO Today

India has just 110 branches per million persons, compared with the USA which has more than 300 branches per million persons, and Spain which has an incredible 900 branches per million persons, with the next nearest in the EU being Italy with 650/mm.
Wednesday, January 29, 2014 — No Region Specified

OPINION: Payment banks could promote financial inclusion in India

Source: Live Mint

Payment banks will be a bank in every respect except that it can’t lend, thus removing the risk of leverage.
Friday, January 24, 2014 — No Region Specified

MasterCard encourages debit, pre-paid cards to advance financial inclusion in India

Source: The Financial Express

With a high growth potential, debit and pre-paid cards can be used to accelerate financial inclusion and reaching out to rural India, a senior MasterCard Worldwide official said here today.
Thursday, January 23, 2014 — South Asia

Opinion: Statistical illusions do not make a reality for financial inclusion in India

Source: The Economic Times

For financial inclusion to be meaningful, it is necessary that people not only have a bank account but also have access to timely and adequate credit at an affordable cost
Tuesday, January 21, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Banks feud with Zimbabwe’s biggest telco

Source: allAfrica

The sources say the situation, if not resolved, promises to get messy, as indications are that the banks would stop transacting with Steward Bank on the RTGS platform.
Friday, January 17, 2014 — No Region Specified

OPINION: A shaky vision for financial inclusion in India

Source: Live Mint

The Nachiket Mor committee report does not address the issues that militate against financial inclusion.
Friday, January 17, 2014 — No Region Specified

Playing the Odds on Saving

Source: The New York Times

Americans’ lack of savings has become a crisis. Our confidence that we’ve got enough saved for retirement is at historically low levels, according to the Employee Benefit Research Institute’s annual Retirement Confidence Survey. More than a quarter of Americans have saved less than $1,000 for retirement. Only half of those surveyed say they could definitely find $2,000 if an emergency arose in the next month.
Thursday, January 16, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Africa: Leveraging the Continent's Resources to Finance Vital Infrastructure

Source: allAfrica

The African Development Bank has a triple-A designation from international credit rating firms and has tripled its capital base since 2010.
Tuesday, January 14, 2014 — No Region Specified

Smartphone uptake boosts mobile banking

Source: Human IPO

The growing demand for smartphones, mass adoption of cashless services and hotspot services that provide free Wi-fi to customers has resulted in the expansion of the mobile wallet industry, according to a new report.
Tuesday, January 14, 2014 — South Asia

Financial inclusion in India: The march of banks

Source: The Financial Express

People are yet to see a bank in their neighbourhood. But RBI is set to change all that.
Tuesday, January 14, 2014 — No Region Specified

Growth Of Payroll Cards Brings Financial Inclusion For Unbanked Americans

Source: Yuma Arizona News

According to a recent Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) survey, more than 68 million Americans live day to day in a cash-only economy.
Tuesday, January 14, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Will Nigerians embrace mobile money in 2014 ?

Source: National Mirror

In the bid to deepen financial inclusion across the country, financial institutions and mobile money service providers are introducing resourceful methods of bringing the unserved populations into the formal economy by using mobile phones but Nigerians appear unfazed about the mobile money mantra.
Wednesday, January 08, 2014 — No Region Specified

Reserve Bank of India panel suggests new set of banks for financial inclusion

Source: Live Mint

RBI panel headed by Nachiket Mor also seeks universal electronic bank account for all adult Indian citizens by January 2016.
Tuesday, December 31, 2013 — South Asia

What prompts banks to cut home loan rates in India?

Source: The Economic Times

Top three home loan institutions- HDFC, SBI, ICICI Bank - have reduced home loan rates by 15-25 basis points last week to catch borrowers in a fiercely competitive market. Their offerings are only for new loans though.
Saturday, December 28, 2013 — No Region Specified

What prompts banks to cut home loan rates?

Source: Economic Times

Top three home loan institutions- HDFC, SBI, ICICI Bank - have reduced home loan rates by 15-25 basis points last week to catch borrowers in a fiercely competitive market. Their offerings are only for new loans though.
Friday, December 20, 2013 — No Region Specified

Mobile money dims use of debit cards in Kenya

Source: Standard Digital

The use of payment cards in Kenya has shrunk despite the rising number of people acquiring the cards. This is after users stifled use of the cards since the start of the year, with the value of transactions registering a huge decline.
Wednesday, December 18, 2013 — No Region Specified

Ecuador will increase electrification in rural and isolated areas using renewable energy

Source: Press Release

At least 350 families in the Amazon region of Ecuador will use solar energy provided by an IDB-GEF pilot project.
Monday, December 16, 2013 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Financial Inclusion Gets to Lagos Slum

Source: This Day Live

Sterling Bank’s recent extension of its financial services, through the agent banking model to Makoko, a slum area in Lagos, has attracted a lot of attention.
Friday, December 13, 2013 — No Region Specified

Is Bitcoin’s Newest Competitor JPMorgan Chase?

Source: Bank Innovation

JPMorgan Chase made waves today with the filing — or re-filing — of a patent application for a payments platform that includes “virtual cash.”
Thursday, December 12, 2013 — No Region Specified

Access to Basic Banking Is a Crisis for 40 Million Americans

Source: Time Magazine

Some 2.5 billion people have no access to basic financial products like insurance and credit cards. Fixing that would fix a lot of the world's poverty problems.
Thursday, December 12, 2013 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Mobile Banking Moves Ahead in Nigeria

Source: This Day Live

As a result of the innovation in the Nigerian payment system, mobile phones have rapidly become a major medium for banking and payment for transactions, writes Nume Horsfall.
Monday, December 09, 2013 — No Region Specified

Big banks see rich opportunities in world's poorest

Source: Reuters

When the Afghan government used mobile phones instead of cash to pay some of its policemen, the officers thought they'd just had a 30 percent pay rise. In truth, they had just been paid the full amount, with nothing skimmed off by middlemen, for the first time.
Monday, December 09, 2013 — No Region Specified

Mobile banking: will Kenya export its revolution to India?

Source: Paris Tech Review

The rise of a new generation of technologies performing many financial transactions from mobile phones is a game-changer, opening a new avenue for development. Kenya is probably the best model on the continent. But only specific conditions made it possible. Can this model be exported?
Thursday, December 05, 2013 — South Asia

Mobile Payments Gain Traction Among India’s Poor

Source: THe New York Times

South Asia is a fertile market for the concept. The region consisting primarily of Bangladesh, India and Pakistan accounts for the largest number of offices actively providing mobile money services, 3.8 million compared with 805,000 in all of Africa and 1.8 million in East Asia and the Pacific.
Monday, December 02, 2013 — No Region Specified

A Goat Or An ATM?

Source: Business World

Financial inclusion efforts in India have achieved much but remain hobbled by the lack of an effective impact assessment framework.
Tuesday, November 26, 2013 — South Asia

HCBL Bank targetting beggars for financial inclusion

Source: Business Standard

Probably the only bank catering to this segment, so far
Monday, November 25, 2013 — No Region Specified

Banks in Nepal are building interoperable mobile money offerings

Source: GSMA

In Nepal, two 3rd party initiatives are attempting to bring together the banks and offer the tools needed for them to successfully operate mobile money. The banking sector in Nepal is fragmented with not one bank having double digit market share.
Monday, November 25, 2013 — No Region Specified

Expanding mobile money programmes in Kenya

Source: Oxford Business Group

Over the past six years, Kenya has posted significant growth in mobile phone financial services – a sector that it has in many ways helped to pioneer – and the medium-term outlook looks equally encouraging as operators move to offer traditional banking products such as savings accounts and loans. With the sector gradually converging with conventional financial services, the central bank is moving to strengthen its regulatory oversight, which could alter market dynamics.
Tuesday, November 19, 2013 — South Asia

India launches first bank exclusively for women


India launched its first public sector bank catering for women on Tuesday, an initiative aimed at economically empowering millions of women across the country who do not have access to basic financial services such as bank accounts or loans.
Monday, November 18, 2013 — No Region Specified

Indian banking at a crossroads

Source: Business Standard

Indian banking is clearly at a turning point. Some of the key changes we will see in the next few years could push the sector into a new orbit. It will force the existing players to be more efficient in their operations and in their allocation of capital. Given the level of interference public sector banks face, they are likely to fall even further behind their private sector competitors.
Monday, November 18, 2013 — No Region Specified

Changing trends: Technological developments in Pakistan’s banking sector

Source: The Express Tribune

Technological advances are quickly changing the face of the Pakistani banking industry. Alternative channels are growing quickly and represent a sizable portion of banks’ revenue streams as all banks as well as mobile network operators are jumping on the ‘branchless banking’ bandwagon.
Thursday, November 14, 2013 — South Asia

Mobile banking clients cross 10m mark in Bangladesh

Source: Dhaka Tribune

“The milestone has been achieved in just three years, contributing a lot to the financial inclusion initiative”
Wednesday, November 13, 2013 — No Region Specified

Telecoms firms pin hopes on mobile banking

Source: IOL News

Cellular operators want to open up their networks for more banking transactions as they have pinned their hopes on mobile money to grow revenues in the future. According to Fredrik Jejdling, Ericsson’s sub-Saharan African regional head, the most downloaded mobile apps in Africa now were banking apps. Social networks were the second most downloaded.
Thursday, November 07, 2013 — No Region Specified

New Micro Lending Program to Pump Cash into Detroit

Source: Fox Business

Amid the Motor City’s ongoing bankruptcy eligibility trial, the launch of a new lending program is likely welcomed news for Detroit small businesses.
Tuesday, November 05, 2013 — South Asia

In India, what drives private banks’ interest in rural areas?

Source: Live Mint

The rapid increase of rural incomes and consumption with a shift in expenditure patterns has altered business perceptions
Friday, November 01, 2013 — No Region Specified

Mobile Devices Alone Won't Solve American Financial Inclusion Problem

Source: American Banker

Mobile services would alleviate friction and save time for underserved, low-income consumers. But convenience won't necessarily transform the financially excluded into the financially included.
Friday, November 01, 2013 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Mobile Money Comes To Ethiopia

Source: African Business Magazine

Ethiopia lags far behind its East African neighbours in the development of its telecommunications sector and the services that the system now routinely provides elsewhere. This is about to change with the rollout of the country’s first mobile money transfer system this January
Thursday, October 24, 2013 — South Asia

Indian Banks complete first phase of financial inclusion

Source: Business Standard

Commercial banks have achieved the target of providing banking outlets to all villages in Karnataka, with a population of over 2,000 people.
Wednesday, October 23, 2013 — Asia Pacific

Alibaba issues China’s first microloan securitization

Source: The Asahi Shimbun

Orient Securities and Alibaba have issued the nation’s first securitized product backed by microloans.
Monday, October 21, 2013 — South Asia

Inclusion — don’t count on banks

Source: The Hindu Business Line

We need thousands of small private sector financial intermediaries for promoting financial inclusion.
Monday, October 21, 2013 — No Region Specified

The High Cost, for the Poor, of Using a Bank

Source: The New Yorker

There have been a lot of reports lately on the growing numbers of people without bank accounts, and on those who have accounts but continue to use alternative financial services such as payday loans. All this has convinced policy makers and many consumer advocates that low- and moderate-income people are victims of “financial exclusion.” They have therefore concentrated on moving these people to banks. The numbers of “unbanked” and “underbanked” people are indeed growing. Seventeen million people nationwide are unbanked, up from ten million in 2002; forty-three million are underbanked.
Friday, October 18, 2013 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Rwanda: 'Ensuring Universal Access to Financial Services Key Priority'

Source: The New Times - allAfrica

Increasing access to financial services is one of the Government's priorities as Rwanda looks to ensure a self-reliant populace, John Rwangombwa, the central bank governor, has said. "Rwanda's vision is to ensure financial inclusion, especially for the rural masses. In fact, we have made significant progress towards this target. So far, we have been able to double formal financial inclusion from 21 per cent of adults in 2008 to 42 per cent as at the end of last year," Rwangombwa noted.
Thursday, October 10, 2013 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Nigeria: Microfinance Banks Need More Financial Empowerment

Source: All Africa

The Managing Director, Fortis Micofinance Bank Plc, Mr. Kunle Oketikun has called for more financial empowerment for Nigerians.
Tuesday, October 08, 2013 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Easing Nigeria's Banking Gridlock

Source: The Africa Report

The past decade of banking in Nigeria has not been for the faint hearted.
Thursday, October 03, 2013 — No Region Specified

Migrants from developing countries to send home $414 billion in earnings in 2013

Source: The World Bank

The developing world is expected to receive $414 billion in migrant remittances in 2013, an increase of 6.3 percent over the previous year.
Thursday, October 03, 2013 — South Asia

India's Banks not Inclusive Enough

Source: The Hindu Business Line

Are commercial banking (as it is currently practiced in India) and attainment of financial inclusion mutually exclusive?
Wednesday, September 11, 2013 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Millennium Development goals in rural Africa get $100 million boost


In 2011, the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) and the Earth Institute (Columbia University) formed a partnership to work with African nations to support their efforts to end extreme poverty. On Tuesday, the IsDB and the Earth Institute and its partner, Millennium Promise, announced that the IsDB and its poverty reduction arm, the Islamic Solidarity Fund for Development (ISFD), have now extended more than $100 million in financing to help eight African nations combat extreme poverty, improve public health and achieve more sustainable development.
Thursday, August 08, 2013 — South Asia

Financial Inclusion is an Opportunity: BR Shetty

Source: Forbes India

The chairman of the UAE Exchange wants to improve financial literacy among those in the bottom of the economic pyramid
Friday, August 02, 2013 — No Region Specified

Banker Saves 20,000 From Nepal to Uganda With Her Profits

Source: Bloomberg

Amid the cloying dust, blaring car horns and beggars’ wails that echo through the ancient streets of Kathmandu, Nepal, a familiar sound emerges: the strains of pop star Psy’s “Gangnam Style.”
Tuesday, July 30, 2013 — No Region Specified

With Skoll Foundation Support, Citi Provides Financing for Innovative Social Enterprise KickStart International

Source: Daily Finance

Citi Microfinance and Citi Commercial Bank today announced US$2,000,000 in financing to support KickStart International, a non-profit social enterprise that designs, manufactures, and sells high quality, low-cost irrigation pumps for use by smallholder farmers across Sub-Saharan Africa.
Tuesday, July 30, 2013 — South Asia

Vikram Akula eyes a comeback to SKS Microfinance

Source: Hindustan Times

Vikram Akula, the one-time poster boy of microfinance in India and founder-chairman of SKS Microfinance, is trying to make a comeback to the very company he founded in 1998 but had lost control two years ago.
Monday, July 29, 2013 — No Region Specified

New legislation to regulate micro finance companies

Source: The Sunday Times

Legislation to regulate and supervise microfinance institutions, including finance companies and banks accepting deposits from the public, will be introduced in Parliament.
Monday, June 10, 2013 — Sub-Saharan Africa

AfDB Signs a Usd 100 Million Risk Participation Agreement With Commerzbank Ag to Support Trade Finance in Africa

Source: AllAfrica

The African Development Bank (AfDB) formally signed on May 29th in Marrakech, Morocco, in the prelude of the 48th AfDB Annual Meetings, a USD 100 million unfunded Risk Participation Agreement (RPA) with Commerzbank AG under which the two banks will share the default risk on a portfolio of eligible trade transactions originated by African issuing banks in Africa and confirmed by Commerzbank AG.
Wednesday, May 22, 2013 — South Asia

Vodafone Aims to Replicate M-Pesa’s Success in India

Source: Knowledge@Wharton Network

M-Pesa, the mobile-based money transfer and payment service that has been highly successful in Kenya since its launch in 2007, is now available in India by Vodafone, working through its fully-owned subsidiary Mobile Commerce Solutions Ltd (MCSL), and ICICI bank, the country’s largest private sector bank.
Friday, May 10, 2013 — Sub-Saharan Africa

In Africa, the best 'charity' is aid for business

Source: The Christian Science Monitor

The traditional approach to solving Africa’s problems has been to rely on charity and aid – free money, more or less. And while charity has done much good for millions across the continent in terms of food security, health care, emergency response, and education, its chief weakness is that its results have not proven sustainable. Africa finds itself continually going back to donors simply to maintain the status quo. What the continent really needs is to create the environment – political, economic, and social – to achieve self-sufficiency.
Monday, February 04, 2013 — North Africa and Near East

In Pakistan, Savings Circles Beat Banks

Source: Bloomberg Business Week

Ali has been selling wall clocks and wristwatches in a crowded Karachi market for 15 years. He’s been participating in savings circles with fellow shopkeepers for just as long, and has used the proceeds to buy a car and acquire a new store. Now he’s a few months away from getting 400,000 rupees ($4,100) from a savings group of 16 shopkeepers into which he’s been paying 1,000 rupees a day for almost a year. He plans to put a down payment on an apartment. “This system is flawless,” says Ali, 35, who goes by one name. “You can never save this way without this binding commitment of making payments every day or every month. At banks there are hassles and procedures that waste time. This is simple. The organizer comes to collect the money himself, and because of the trust element, it’s a given that we’ll get the money.”
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