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, August 31, 2015 — South Asia

India's microfinance institutions see gross loan growth of 69% in the previous quarter

Source: Your Story

Microfinance institutions saw a healthy 69% growth in their gross loan portfolio in the April June quarter compared to that in the same period of last year.
Monday, August 31, 2015 — Latin America

Seven Emerging FinTech Players In Top Latin American Markets

Source: Forbes

Only about half of all adults in Latin America and the Caribbean had a bank account, and only 14% had formal savings - and a host of companies recognize the opportunity.
Friday, August 28, 2015 — South Asia

Tough Challenges Await India's Chandrashekhar Ghosh's Bandhan in Its Commercial Bank Avtaar

Source: Firstpost

On Sunday, Kolkata-based microfinance institution (MFI), Bandhan Financial Services formally converted itself into a full service commercial bank, thus becoming the latest private sector bank in the country. Bandhan is one of the two entities, which were given full-service banking licences by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) in April, 2014, from a list of 25 aspirants that included big business houses. The other is IDFC.
Friday, August 28, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

South Africa Shines in Financial Inclusion Report

Source: BDlive

SAS CORES high on a global index measuring progress in financial inclusion in emerging markets.
Thursday, August 27, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

9 African Countries That Score Highest for Financial Inclusion

Source: AFKInsider

Mobile technology has accelerated financial inclusion for the so-called under served — people with inadequate access to traditional banking institutions — according to a newly released Brookings report.
Wednesday, August 26, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

PRESS RELEASE: MoneyGram Expands Mobile Money Choices in Africa

Source: PR Newswire

New agreement enables customers to receive money directly to M-Pesa accounts in Tanzania.
Wednesday, August 26, 2015 — South Asia

What payments banks, Bandhan can do for financial inclusion in India

Source: Daily O

There have two big developments in financial inclusion in the country in the past few days, whose significance stands out despite the din arising from the recent global stock market crash.
Tuesday, August 25, 2015 — South Asia

India ranks 9th in Brookings financial inclusion scorecard - but 1st in country commitment

Source: Live Mint

India ranked ninth out of 21 countries for its overall financial and digital inclusion efforts, according to the 2015 Brookings Financial and Digital Inclusion Project (FDIP) Report and Scorecard that was launched on Tuesday.
Monday, August 24, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Consumers lose out as Safaricom and Equity tariff wars intensify

Source: Standard Digital

A fresh storm is brewing between Kenya’s financial services giants, Safaricom and Equity Bank, over the rates being levied to consumers making transactions across the two service providers.
Friday, August 21, 2015 — South Asia

OPINION: Payments Banks - A game-changing idea for financial inclusion in India

Source: Business Insider

Over the next decade or so, payment banks' functioning has the potential to bring about another revolution in the banking sector.
Friday, August 21, 2015 — South Asia

Indian government committed to reviving postal department through payments banking

Source: Times of India

Communications minister Ravi Shankar Prasad on Thursday said the government will revive the postal department by using over 1.5 lakh post offices for furthering financial inclusion.
Thursday, August 20, 2015 — South Asia

Indian mobile operators feature strongly among 'payments bank' license winners

Source: Mobile World Live

Bidders linked to the country’s top three mobile operators – Bharti Airtel, Vodafone and Idea Cellular – as well as newcomer Reliance Jio Infocomm and Telenor were among eleven winners of payments bank licenses in India.
Thursday, August 20, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Kenyan banks take on M-PESA in fight for money transfer billions

Source: The Daily Nation

Kenya Bankers Association plans to launch an interbank mechanism to enable interoperability across member banks for all retail payment streams, aiming to eat into M-PESA’s market share.
Thursday, August 20, 2015 — Asia Pacific

A Hundred Apps Bloom in China as Millions Bank on Their Phones

Source: Bloomberg

Consumers are skipping straight from cash to mobile finance.
Thursday, August 20, 2015 — No Region Specified

A smile boosts the chances of getting a microloan, say Stanford psychologists

Source: Stanford

Stanford psychologists found that applicants for microloans are more likely to win approval if the photograph they send along with the application evokes a positive emotional response.
Wednesday, August 19, 2015 — South Asia

Report: Four in five households in Bangladesh have access to financial services

Source: The Daily Star

Four in five households in Bangladesh have access to financial services, thanks to improvements in the networks of banks and microfinance institutions as well as a booming mobile banking segment, according to a new study.
Tuesday, August 18, 2015 — No Region Specified

PRESS RELEASE: Smart Campaign Now Serves More Than 20 Million Low-income Clients

Source: PR Newswire

Momentum for Smart Campaign Certification Accelerates; Six Million ‘Protected’ Clients Added in Last Six Months.
Monday, August 17, 2015 — South Asia

Big Response to Government’s Low-Cost Insurance Schemes in India

Source: The Hindu Business Line

The low-premium life and accident insurance schemes introduced by the government recently have elicited huge response, attracting 11 crore subscribers in just three months.
Friday, August 14, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

New $35 million competition will enable greater financial inclusion for smallholder farmers in Africa

Source: Graphic Online

The MasterCard Foundation has announced the opening of a US$35 million Scaling Competition under its Fund for Rural Prosperity.
Thursday, August 13, 2015 — South Asia

PRESS RELEASE: India’s Financial Inclusion Leader IFMR Holdings Raises $25m from Accion, LeapFrog and Lok

Source: Accion

IFMR Holdings, a leading financial inclusion platform in India, has announced that they have raised US $25 million in equity from Accion, a financial inclusion pioneer, LeapFrog Investments, a specialist investor in emerging-market financial services, and Lok Capital, an Indian impact investment firm.
Wednesday, August 12, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Disrupting Remittances Through Mobile Money in Uganda

Source: Disrupt Africa

The money remittance industry sees over US$34 billion sent to sub-Saharan Africa each year, accounting for an average of 5 per cent of GDP on a country-by-country basis. However, for those sending and receiving money, the systems in place are inefficient and time-consuming.
Tuesday, August 11, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Fintech firm takes biometric microfinance tool to Uganda

Source: Planet Biometrics

Awamo, a fintech firm firm formerly known as BCB Biometric Credit Bureau, has revealed that it is taking a biometric microfinance solution it has developed to Uganda thanks to $550,000 it has raised in Series-A funding.
Tuesday, August 11, 2015 — Asia Pacific

Rising Fintech Investment in Asia Suggests Room for Bitcoin Opportunities

Source: News BTC

More and more companies are tapping into the Asian market when it comes to financial technology investment, as the region has seen growth in remittances while some countries have weak banking sectors. This opens up a market gap that could make room for bitcoin opportunities later on.
Monday, August 10, 2015 — No Region Specified

In a Push for Financial Inclusion, the eBay Foundation and a Focus on Entrepreneurs

Source: Inside Philanthropy

Pierre Omidyar established the eBay Foundation in 1998 with an endowment of pre-IPO eBay stock. The foundation has always been modest in size, which is probably why we haven't written about it before. It had assets of $30 milllion in a recent year, and gives out between $3 million and $5 million annually to a limited set of grantees.
Monday, August 10, 2015 — South Asia

Visa to launch payments service for mobile phones in September in India

Source: MediaNama

Close on the the heels of MasterCard launching a digital wallet for Citibank India customers, rival global payments gateway Visa will be starting a new payments service for Indian customers in September.
Friday, August 7, 2015 — South Asia

Only 15% of Pakistanis Use Digital Financial Services

Source: The Express Tribune

Only 15% of Pakistanis use Digital Financial Services, and there has been no significant increase in the user base or registrations between 2013 and 2014, said a Financial Inclusion Insights (FII) survey report.
Thursday, August 6, 2015 — Asia Pacific

China's move to regulate Internet payments sparks concern

Source: The Australian

China is moving to limit the lightly regulated world of internet payments, an initiative that some critics warn could stifle development in one of the most innovative sectors of the economy.
Tuesday, August 4, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Why South Africa’s largest mobile network, Vodacom, failed to grow M-Pesa

Source: Quartz

With just one million subscribers at the end of March 2015—the uptake of the mobile money platform M-Pesa has been labelled a failure in South Africa.
Friday, July 31, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Posta Uganda to Launch Financial Services

Source: New Vision

Posta Uganda will launch financial services to use its country wide postal networks to promote financial inclusion especially the unbanked rural communities.
Thursday, July 30, 2015 — South Asia

Singapore Fintech Out to Empower Asia’s Unbanked

Source: The Establishment Post

For most of us including Singaporeans, not having access to credit and debit cards is almost unheard of. Beyond the Little Red Dot though, citizens in Asia, Africa, Latin America and the Middle East continue to transact with cash and coins. They are the world’s unbanked who have minimal contact with banks and financial services. Though the unbanked make up about half of the world’s adult populace today, emerging financial technology startups including Singapore fintech startups are amplifying efforts to bring financial inclusion to the unbanked right at their fingertips.
Wednesday, July 29, 2015 — South Asia

Islamic banking consistently expanding in Pakistan

Source: Daily Times

Last week, the State Bank of Pakistan granted its first license to a micro-finance bank and brought it into the Islamic mode.
Monday, July 27, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

President Obama a Fan of M-PESA, Kenyan Innovation

Source: All Africa

US President Barack Obama has endorsed Kenya's innovation powerhouse status and regional economic might during the opening of the 6th Global Entrepreneurship summit.
Monday, July 27, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Bitcoin companies move ahead in Africa

Source: PC Advisor

Efforts to get Bitcoin off the ground in Africa received a boost this week as BitX announced it has raised $4 million in funding.
Monday, July 27, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

The battle between Africa’s mobile phone companies and banks is a boon for financial inclusion

Source: Quartz

Now banks are not only trying to compete in this space but also offer new products that promise access to banking services to those who up until this point were excluded.
Friday, July 24, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Africa Makes Leap in Cross-Border Mobile Payments

Source: Wall Street Journal

New partnerships aimed at getting a bigger slice of the $48 billion Africans sent and received last year.
Thursday, July 23, 2015 — Latin America

Peru Government Installs National Strategy for Financial Inclusion

Source: Peru this Week

As the Peruvian Finance Minister, Alonso Segura, declared last December, social inclusion is “the foundation of Peru’s growth.” To make this possible, they increased the budget for social inclusion programs for the current year by 20%.
Thursday, July 23, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Mobile Money: 4 Services Tackling Wealth Inequality in Africa

Source: Wired

While mobile money services are available in 89 countries globally, nowhere are they having more of an impact than in Africa, where 12 percent of adults have mobile money accounts, compared with 2 percent worldwide.
Tuesday, July 21, 2015 — No Region Specified

Global Funds Make a Beeline for Indian Banks, Finance Firms; $1.46 Billion Investment Made in 6 Months

Source: The Economic Times

Finance and banking firms, big and small, are raising large sums of money from foreign investors jousting for a slice of action in the world's fastest-growing major economy.
Monday, July 20, 2015 — No Region Specified

Gates Foundation's Kosta Peric on Blockchain Tech and the Unbanked

Source: The Wall Street Journal

For Kosta Peric, overcoming finance's last mile means looking for ways to do so from the ground up.
Tuesday, July 7, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Financial Inclusion Key to Climate Risk Reduction for Zambia’s Smallholders

Source: Inter Press Service

In the advent of unpredictable weather, smallholder rain-dependent agriculture is increasingly becoming a risky business and the situation could worsen if, as seems likely, the world experiences levels of global warming that could lead to an increase in droughts, floods and diseases, both in frequency and intensity.
Thursday, July 2, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Can Mobile Money Improve Your Health?

Source: IT News Africa

According to insights provided byMondato, the general rule of thumb is that when something appears too good to be true, it very likely is. Imagine that you were unfamiliar with the concept of insurance. A stranger at your door promises that if you pay 1000 shillings per month via your phone, if at some point you or someone in your family were to fall ill, the man’s company will pay up to 300 times that amount to cover the medical expenses. You would certainly be forgiven for being highly circumspect, at the very minimum.
Monday, June 29, 2015 — Latin America

A Light in the Darkness

Source: The Economist

Some mountainous parts of Mexico are so remote that the electricity grid fails to reach them, let alone the banking system. A five-year-old social enterprise, Iluméxico, hopes to change that. It provides more than 20,000 people with loans to buy low-cost solar panels and batteries, enabling them to switch lights on, watch television and charge mobile phones, sometimes for the first time.
Wednesday, June 24, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Survey: Big financial inclusion gains in Zambia

Source: The Post Zambia

According to the FinScope 2015, the proportion of Zambian adults accessing financial services has increased to 59.3 percent in 2015 from 37.3 percent in 2009.
Wednesday, June 24, 2015 — No Region Specified

Is There Finally Some Movement on the Pressing Challenge of Microinsurance?

Source: Inside Philanthropy

More market players are stepping into the microinsurance arena - if this trend continues, the role of philanthropy in this space may become less and less critical.
Wednesday, June 24, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Uganda: Banks Partner with Telecoms to Cope With Mobile Pressure

Source: All Africa

Ugandan banks seem to have realized the threat from mobile services, as more of them are partnering with telecoms to swiftly roll out mobile banking products.
Wednesday, June 24, 2015 — South Asia

How the Internet of Everything will help bank the unbanked in India

Source: Money Control

As digital frontiers expand, banks will be able to deliver highly customized services at relatively low costs and expand their customer base by reaching people who were until now outside the banking ecosystem.
Wednesday, June 24, 2015 — South Asia

India to Offer Tax Benefits to Encourage Electronic Payments

Source: Firstpost

The government has put out draft proposals on Monday to encourage electronic transactions in the country.
Tuesday, June 23, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Uganda Legalizes Islamic Banking

Source: All Africa

Uganda's Cabinet has approved the amended Financial Institutions Act 2015, which paves the way for the introduction of Islamic and Agency banking in Uganda.
Tuesday, June 23, 2015 — South Asia

Mobile Banking Provides Lifeline for Bangladeshis

Source: Wall Street Journal

Phone-based services revolutionize the way people save and send money.
Monday, June 22, 2015 — No Region Specified

PRESS RELEASE: Innovation for Poverty Action's New $7.4 million Grant Will Support Research for Financial Inclusion

Source: Innovations for Poverty Action

Innovations for Poverty Action (IPA) announced today a new $7.4 million grant to support research on product design innovations that enable the poor to access, use, and benefit from financial services.
Thursday, June 18, 2015 — No Region Specified

Closing the Financial Inclusion Gender Gap

Source: Huffington Post

While financial inclusion is growing for everyone, women tend to lag men by seven percentage points globally - in emerging markets, the difference is nine percentage points on average and can be as high as 18 percentage points in South Asia.
Thursday, June 18, 2015 — South Asia

Bandhan Bank Is Born: Chandra Shekhar Ghosh's Incredible Journey From a Sweet Shop to Owning a Bank

Source: Firstpost

In most Indian languages, the word Bandhan means bond or togetherness. His bond with the credit-deprived poor in Eastern India’s villages and a Rs 2 lakh loan were the initial capital for Chandra Shekhar Ghosh, the son of a small sweet-shop owner from Bengal, to begin a microfinance institution, Bandhan Financial Services Ltd, and grow it to a private bank in less than 15 years.
Tuesday, June 16, 2015 — South Asia

Empty accounts continue to plague India's financial inclusion plan

Source: Business Today

More than half of a record 160 million accounts opened in India as part of a drive to offer banking to all are still empty, illustrating the massive task ahead for one of the government's most high-profile campaigns and the strain on banks.
Tuesday, June 16, 2015 — Asia Pacific

Indonesian start-ups helping to broaden financial inclusion

Source: Spy Ghana

A string of innovative financial products from Indonesian start-ups are circumventing the traditional payment and investment system, helping to broaden financial inclusion and challenging the established banks.
Tuesday, June 16, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Zimbabwe at the forefront of the mobile revolution

Source: IT Web Africa

While everyone looks to Kenya as the leader in mobile money transfers, when it comes to sending money from mobiles, Zimbabweans have been almost twice as eager to use an app to make a transfer.
Thursday, June 11, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

PRESS RELEASE: FINCA Releases Case Study Outlining Ways to Drive Financial Inclusion Through Mobile Technology

Source: FINCA

FINCA’s experience in Tanzania offers lessons learned for development practitioners
Thursday, June 11, 2015 — No Region Specified

Ericsson partners with Verifone on mobile money in emerging markets

Source: Telecoms

Kit giant Ericsson has announced a partnership with Verifone Mobile Money to offer its customers a broader range of mobile payment tools for emerging markets.
Wednesday, June 10, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Scholarships for savings: Nigerian bank uses incentives to advance financial inclusion among students

Source: The Guardian Nigeria

First Bank Plc has put in place a set of incentives, including scholarships, that would encourage young Nigerians, particularly students, to voluntarily embrace savings culture and by extension, help drive financial inclusion.
Tuesday, June 9, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Kenya's largest bank signs up 1.8 million mobile banking customers since March

Source: Reuters

Kenya's biggest bank by assets, KCB, has signed up 1.8 million customers for its mobile phone-based service since it was launched in March and is on target for 10 million users within a year from now, its chief financial officer said.
Monday, June 8, 2015 — South Asia

Postal bank coming soon to India, say officials

Source: Business World

India’s massive postal network is likely to turn into payment banks by late next month, reaching out to the unbanked section of the society under Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Jan Dhan programme.
Monday, June 8, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

East Africa: Online Banking Still a Challenge to Many Kenyans - Study

Source: All Africa

Online banking remains a challenge to many people even as the smart phone penetration in Kenya experiences substantial growth, according to a new survey.
Friday, June 5, 2015 — No Region Specified

PRESS RELEASE: Center for Financial Inclusion at Accion Releases Report on Progress toward Global Financial Inclusion

Source: PR Newswire

The Center for Financial Inclusion (CFI) at Accion – an action-oriented think tank working toward full global financial inclusion – released its 'By the Numbers' report today, which benchmarks progress toward global financial inclusion and makes projections about the movement's future.
Friday, June 5, 2015 — No Region Specified

Report: U.S. cities are taking a stronger look at financial inclusion

Source: CivSource

Cities are taking a stronger look at financial inclusion, according to new research from the National League of Cities.
Friday, June 5, 2015 — South Asia

OPINION: Fixing financial inclusion in India

Source: Financial Express

A Self Help Group-bank linkage programme should be included in the financial inclusion strategy of the government.
Thursday, June 4, 2015 — No Region Specified

How a Cutting Edge Effort to Boost Family Financial Stability is Giving Out $3 Million

Source: Inside Philanthropy

JPMorgan Chase is the founding partner with CFSI of the Financial Solutions Lab, a $30 million, five-year initiative "to identify, test, and expand the availability of promising innovations that help Americans increase savings, improve credit, and build assets."
Wednesday, June 3, 2015 — South Asia

PRESS RELEASE: Bangladesh Government joins the Better Than Cash Alliance

Source: PR Newswire

Aligned with the nation's Digital Bangladesh Vision 2021, the Government of the People's Republic of Bangladesh today announced it will accelerate its transition from cash to digital payments, marked by a new partnership with the Better Than Cash Alliance.
Wednesday, June 3, 2015 — Asia Pacific

Can China’s Financial System Become More Inclusive?

Source: The Diplomat

Beijing is trying to make finance accessible to those traditionally denied it, with mixed results.
Tuesday, June 2, 2015 — South Asia

PRESS RELEASE: Finance Minister launches National Financial Inclusion Strategy for Pakistan

Source: State Bank of Pakistan

The Federal Finance Minister, Senator Mohammad Ishaq Dar, launched National Financial Inclusion Strategy (NFIS) for Pakistan at Islamabad.
Tuesday, June 2, 2015 — No Region Specified

REPORT: By 2020, biometrics will be predominant method bank customers will use to identify themselves

Source: Goode Intelligence

Goode Intelligence today issued a new Analyst Report forecasting that by 2020, bank customers will use biometrics as the predominant method of identifying themselves to access bank services.
Tuesday, June 2, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Ugandan court says mobile money illegal, but no jurisdiction

Source: Telecom Paper

A court has pronounced that mobile money business operated by the five major telecommunication companies is illegal - a judge dismissed the case, however, because it was instituted in the wrong court.
Monday, June 1, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Tanzania surpasses financial inclusion target

Source: Daily News

TANZANIA has surpassed its financial inclusion target of 50 per cent, some two years ahead of deadline in 2016, thanks to mobile transaction platform.
Friday, May 29, 2015 — South Asia

India's microfinance loans are growing at a scorching pace, but it's a warning signal

Source: First Post

The institutions that give tiny loans to the poor somehow seem to be rediscovering their long-lost obsession for rocket-speed loan growth — the same mistake that once shattered the entire industry.
Thursday, May 28, 2015 — South Asia

PRESS RELEASE: Accion Announces MetLife Foundation Grant to Support Financial Inclusion in Myanmar

Source: PR Newswire

Financial inclusion pioneer Accion announced today that the MetLife Foundation has awarded Accion a $250,000 grant over two years to support its new MFI, Dawn Microfinance, in Myanmar.
Thursday, May 28, 2015 — Asia Pacific

Indonesia Turns to Technology to Build its Banking Sector

Source: Wall Street Journal

Indonesia is hoping to get more of its 250 million citizens using formal financial services, and it’s looking to some of the creative tech startups that are already one step ahead for some assistance.
Wednesday, May 27, 2015 — No Region Specified

OPINION: Why turning the Postal Service into a bank isn’t nearly as ridiculous as it sounds

Source: Salon

This remains a tremendous idea to relieve economic inequality and preserve an important public-sector ladder into the middle class; and continued agitation just might get it done.
Tuesday, May 26, 2015 — No Region Specified

What The U.S. Can Learn About Financial Inclusion From The Developing World

Source: Tech Crunch

While every country context is unique, there is much that the U.S. and developing countries can learn from each other.
Tuesday, May 26, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

South Africa Plans to Corporatise Post Bank

Source: CPI Financial

South Africa’s Telecommunications and Postal Services Minister Siyabonga Cwele says the process to corporatise Post Bank is at an advanced state.
Friday, May 22, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Findex: Sub-Saharan Africa Continues to Be the Leading Frontier of Financial Inclusion

Source: The Huffington Post

Half of the world's population lives and works in the informal economy - not by choice, but by necessity. In the language of economists, poor families in developing countries are consumption-smoothing households and capital-consuming, self-employed entrepreneurs at the same time. As a result, they need a broader range of financial services to manage inevitably irregular income and expense spikes, accumulate working capital, build assets, and mitigate risks. Lacking better alternatives, they often resort to informal financial mechanisms, such as moneylenders, pawnbrokers, and rotating savings clubs, which can be very unreliable and expensive.
Friday, May 22, 2015 — South Asia

India's Street Dentists Filling Gap for the Poor

Source: AsiaOne

Ignoring noisy buses and curious onlookers, street dentist Allah Baksh plunges his hands into a patient's mouth to fit a sparkling set of dentures for $12 (S$16) in the Indian city of Bangalore.
Thursday, May 21, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Nigeria's GTBank Introduces New "Short Code" Channel for Mobile Money Transfers

Source: This Day Live

Guaranty Trust Bank Plc (GTBank) said it is applying a breakthrough innovation to enable funds transfer on the mobile phone for the first time in Nigeria for the bank’s customers.
Thursday, May 21, 2015 — South Asia

India's Jan Dhan financial inclusion drive hits customer service barrier

Source: The Hindu Businessline

Creating new accounts is not enough. Banks’ behaviour towards low income clients is a major roadblock
Friday, May 15, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Ecocash Users in Zimbabwe Can Now Make Mobile Money Transactions in Local Languages

Source: New Zimbabwe

Users of EcoCash, the mobile money offering of Econet Wireless, are now able to transact in local languages after the company announced new enhancements to the platform.
Thursday, May 14, 2015 — Latin America

New GSMA Report Finds That Latin America and the Caribbean Have Fastest Growth in Mobile Financial Services Globally

Source: Business Wire

At the Mobile 360 Latin America event today, the GSMA issued the report, ‘Mobile Financial Services in Latin America and the Caribbean: state of play, commercial models and regulatory approaches’, which examines the current state of mobile financial services across Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) region. The report outlines important advances in mobile money adoption in the region, showing that nearly two thirds of markets have at least one live mobile money service. Today, there are a total of 37 mobile money services, accounting for roughly 14.9 million registered mobile money accounts, in 19 countries1 in the region. This includes seven new services launched in Brazil, Colombia, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Panama and Peru since 2014.
Tuesday, May 12, 2015 — South Asia

Viewpoint: Contributory Social Security Schemes Launched Last Week in India Could Be Game Changers

Source: The Indian Express

The prime minister launched three welfare-enhancing pension and insurance schemes on May 9. In a country where less than 10 per cent of the population has insurance cover and almost nobody in the unorganised sector has a pension plan, these three schemes are expected to play a significant role in providing social security for the poor.
Tuesday, May 12, 2015 — Europe & Eurasia

Vodafone's M-Pesa Mobile Money Service Goes Live in Albania

Source: Telecompaper

Vodafone Albania officially launched the M-Pesa mobile payment service during a press conference held in the capital Tirana. Vodafone Albania is the second Vodafone operator in Europe to offer the service, following Vodafone Romania in April 2014.
Monday, May 11, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Financial Inclusion in Africa: “Things Are Further Behind Than People Think”

Source: Ventures Africa

Plenty of progress has been made on increasing the size of Africa’s banked population. The trouble is, from the amount of noise that is made about the topic, you would be forgiven for thinking we had fixed the problem when we really haven’t.
Monday, May 11, 2015 — South Asia

Viewpoint: India’s Financial Inclusion Schemes Are Fine, but Why Is the Government Not Addressing Banks' Quality, Cost Concerns?

Source: Firstpost

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his team at the NDA government deserve their due share of credit for initiating efforts to bring a large segment of India’s population to insurance, pension cover at cheaper cost, even as the Congress is crying foul of repacking old UPA ideas.
Friday, May 8, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

In Africa, Mobile Money Is on the Move

Source: Mail & Guardian Africa

Moving money across African borders with the click of a cellphone button just keeps getting easier. The mobile money revolution – essentially the use of cellphones to access financial services – is already transforming the face of financial inclusion on the continent.
Thursday, May 7, 2015 — Asia Pacific

Visa Pushes for Financial Inclusion in Philippines

Source: Rappler

There is an opportunity for financial inclusion in the Philippines, and VISA is banking on such potential.
Thursday, May 7, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Could Stellar Be the Answer to Enable Financial Inclusion Around the Globe?

Source: Memeburn

When the internet first came round in the mid-nineties, people didn’t expect to see impactful tools like open-source libraries like Wikipedia or renting sites like AirBnb or car-sharing ones such as Uber and Lyft. As an open tool, the internet has laid the foundation for these products to be born, reaching audiences far and wide with powerful applications that impact most of our daily lives, whether we like it or not. But a lot of important industries have been left behind in the process. This, however, might be starting to change.
Thursday, May 7, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Tanzania: Mobile Banking Deepens Financial Inclusion

Source: allAfrica

One of the drivers of the country's gross domestic product (GDP) by 7.0 per cent last year was financial intermediation, speeded up by inclusive financing.