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 29, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Kenya Announces First-Ever Government Bond to be Offered Exclusively via Mobile Phone

Source: Capital FM

The Treasury has announced the first-ever Government Bond that will be offered exclusively via mobile phone, pointing to the growing relevance of mobile money solutions in the evolving payments space.
Tuesday, September 29, 2015 — No Region Specified

Six Lessons From Mobile Money Ventures In Developing Countries

Source: Forbes

Designing a profitable solution for an unmet market need should be business strategy 101 for most entrepreneurs, so why have so many mobile money service offerings failed?
Tuesday, September 29, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Cellphones broaden business opportunities for Tanzanian women


What would happen if Tanzanian women who never before owned or could afford a cellphone suddenly received one?
Tuesday, September 22, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Viewpoint: Bank-Telco Distrust Inhibits South Africa's Financial Inclusion

Source: ITWeb Africa

Although partnerships between banks and telcos are essential in enabling financial inclusion to billions of people in Africa, the egos among the institutions are hindering such partnerships, especially in SA.
Tuesday, September 22, 2015 — South Asia

Report: New-Age Banking Increases the Ambit of Financial Inclusion in India

Source: Livemint

Over the past decade, the Indian banking sector has witnessed a sustained push in the form of a number of initiatives and reforms from the government as well as the Reserve Bank of India (RBI). The sector has grown significantly in terms of customer base, coverage and business.
Wednesday, September 2, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Mobile Money Gets Boost as Central Bank of Nigeria Loosens Restriction on Telcos

Source: This Day Live

With the review of the mobile money guidelines, which allows for the participation of the telecommunication companies, the adoption of this form of banking is expected to get a significant boost.
Wednesday, September 2, 2015 — South Asia

Startups innovate to make payments faster in India - but e-wallets face Ashley-Madison-like threats

Source: Tech in Asia

People are slowly moving towards using digital and electronic payment modes, but payment startups face challenges such as customer awareness, fears about security, and concerns about product or service delivery.
Wednesday, September 2, 2015 — South Asia

PRESS RELEASE: India Announces New Partnership to Accelerate Financial Inclusion for Everyone

Source: PR Newswire

Government of India joins the United Nations' Better Than Cash Alliance to share success stories from the world's largest financial inclusion program.
Wednesday, September 2, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Study Set to Harmonize Mobile Money Transfer Fees in East Africa

Source: All Africa

The central banks of four East African countries are conducting a study that will set the baseline for money transfer fees across the region.
Wednesday, September 2, 2015 — South Asia

Mobile wallets like Paytm and Mobikwik are tying up with kirana stores in rural India

Source: Economic Times

Mobile wallet and payment services such as Paytm and Mobikwik are tying up with kirana stores in semi-urban and rural areas as they seek to grow in regions underserved by banks.
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.
Monday, August 31, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

PRESS RELEASE: Firstmonie partners with MMIT to facilitate online purchases in Nigeria

Source: World Stage Group

Firstmonie, the mobile money platform of First Bank of Nigeria Limited, has partnered with Mobile Media Info Tech Global Limited to commence a new mobile wallet capability that allows consumers to purchase services on international merchant websites. This initiative is the first of its kind in the African mobile money and payment landscape.
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 — Sub-Saharan Africa

OPINION: Safaricom plays hardball in Equitel-M-Pesa Battle

Source: All Africa

In one single move, Safaricom has potentially pulled the rug from under Equity Bank's poorly hidden plan to eat their lunch, dinner and breakfast.
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.
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 — 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 — 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.
Monday, August 17, 2015 — South Asia

State Bank of India to launch mobile wallet

Source: DNA India

India’s largest lender, State Bank of India is slated to launch its mobile wallet, SBI Buddy, on Tuesday.
Monday, August 17, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Airtel is losing its fight against Safaricom for Kenya’s fast-growing mobile market

Source: Quartz

The telecom company is struggling to put a dent in Safaricom’s dominance, but they are getting left behind.
Wednesday, August 12, 2015 — No Region Specified

Mobile Banking Apps in Developing Nations Have Weak Security

Source: ITworld

The developing world is increasingly using mobile banking apps to move money, but new research shows those apps are often poorly coded and pose security risks.
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 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Safaricom will not be forced to loosen its dominant hold on Kenya’s mobile-money market

Source: Quartz

For a minute there, it looked like Safaricom might have to break up its business.
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.
Thursday, July 30, 2015 — Latin America

This Colombian town is trying to get rid of cash — but it’s not so easy

Source: Fusion

A town of 5,000 is trying to become the first in Latin America to entirely phase out cash and rely solely on digital currency.
Thursday, July 30, 2015 — No Region Specified

Mobile Point of Sale Base Growing Rapidly in Developing Countries

Source: Finextra

Mobile point of sale (mPoS) growth continues as the technology deepens its reach across vertical industries, merchant tiers and geographies.
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

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 — 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.
Wednesday, July 22, 2015 — No Region Specified

10 New Mobile Wallet Remittance Services Launched Throughout Africa and Asia-Pacific

Source: Press Release

HomeSend and Azimo today announced the launch of new mobile wallet services in ten countries throughout Africa and Asia-Pacific – reaching millions of mobile money subscribers. Azimo customers in 20 European countries are now be able to send funds to mobile money accounts of loved ones in Armenia, Burkina Faso, Fiji, Ghana, Indonesia, Kenya, Nepal, Nigeria, the Philippines and Somaliland.
Monday, July 20, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Equity Bank Launches Long-Delayed Mobile Money Platform in Kenya

Source: ITWeb Africa

Kenya's mobile money banking service market will gain a competitor with today's launch of Equitel, a technology platform that ties Equity Bank with mobile phone service provider Airtel to provide the user with a thin SIM technology-based mobile banking and telecommunications service.
Thursday, July 2, 2015 — South Asia

Mobile Banking Provides Lifeline for Bangladeshis

Source: The Wall Street Journal

On the first Friday of every month, Sabina Begum makes the short trip from her single-room shack in a crowded Dhaka slum to a nearby grocery. The grocer, in addition to selling her much-needed supplies, doubles as her financial-services provider.
Thursday, June 25, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Illicit Financial Flows: Digital Pirates Costing Africa Big Bucks, but Mobile Banking Could Surprisingly Save the Day

Source: Mail & Guardian Africa

Illicit Financial Flows (IFF) are moving to the forefront of the international agenda, as governments worldwide join forces to combat money laundering, tax evasion, and international bribery, which make up the bulk of such flows.
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

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 — South Asia

Mobile Banking Provides Lifeline for Bangladeshis

Source: Wall Street Journal

Phone-based services revolutionize the way people save and send money.
Thursday, June 18, 2015 — No Region Specified

Report: Nine global drivers of mobile money, as consumers embrace e-commerce and mobile banking

Source: Vanllla Plus

New report, based on a study of 15,000 mobile media users across 15 countries, shows that mobile banking continues to engage consumers – especially in mobile first markets.
Thursday, June 18, 2015 — No Region Specified

The Real FinTech Capitals of the World

Source: Asia Outlook

What is the FinTech capital of the world? London? New York? Silicon Valley? It’s actually somewhere in Africa or Asia if you heed the results of this year’s Payments Innovation Jury Report.
Wednesday, June 17, 2015 — No Region Specified

Nine mobile money trends: Consumers embrace ecommerce and banking via mobile

Source: Net Imperative

A new report reveals nine significant mobile money trends and explores how they are stimulating growth across the expanded mobile ecosystem.
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 — 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.
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
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 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Kenya Equity Bank targeting 100 million African customers for its mobile payment and banking service

Source: Mail and Guardian Africa

Kenya's Equity Bank Ltd., which has started a new mobile payment and banking service called Equitel, is seeking 100 million customers in Africa within 10 years and the first five million by the end of 2015.
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.
Thursday, June 4, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

PRESS RELEASE: Juntos takes customer engagement platform to Africa through partnership with Tigo Tanzania

Source: PR Newswire

Juntos announced their partnership with mobile money provider company Tigo Pesa in Tanzania, to provide new account support to Tigo Pesa customers through the Juntos innovative engagement platform.
Wednesday, June 3, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Uganda: How Mobile Money Firms Survived Court

Source: All Africa

On May 29, telecommunications companies dealing in mobile money services got a lifeline after the Commercial court dismissed a case filed by Abdu Katuntu, the member of Parliament for Bugweri county, who had challenged the legality of the services.
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 — South Asia

The inside story of Alibaba's strategic partnership with Indian mobile wallet company Paytm

Source: Economic Times

It was personal chemistry as much as business rationale that led to Alibaba's financial arm investing $500 million in Paytm.
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

Kenya's Equity Bank gets court backing to roll out thin SIM technology

Source: Business Daily Africa

After a year-long court battle, Equity Bank can finally go ahead and roll out its thin Sim technology in Kenya.
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

With over six million mobile accounts, Easypaisa becomes third largest bank in Pakistan

Source: Business Recorder

Easypaisa, a leading branchless banking service, claimed to have become the country's third largest bank in terms of accounts.
Friday, May 29, 2015 — No Region Specified

How Google is changing mobile for the next billion users

Source: ZDNet

Faced with a large population with slow, little or no mobile broadband, Google is tweaking its core apps to spread the mobile revolution around the world.
Wednesday, May 27, 2015 — South Asia

PRESS RELEASE: In India, MobiKwik partners with ICICI Bank to let customers add cash to their mobile wallet at branches

Source: TechStory

ICICI Bank will collect cash payments from MobiKwik customers across more than 4000 branches in the country.
Wednesday, May 27, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Mobile money agents ‘making it big’ in Kenya's rural areas

Source: Capital FM

According to a new report by Helix Institute of Digital Finance, in non-Nairobi urban areas, profitability has increased by 26 percent while in rural areas profits for the agents have gone up by 45 percent.
Wednesday, May 27, 2015 — South Asia

Report: Simple mobile services can boost Indian farmers’ income

Source: Mobile World Live

The introduction of a number of simple mobile services in India has the potential to boost the income of two-thirds of the country’s small-scale farmers by up to $9 billion a year by 2020, according to a report by Vodafone.
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

The Mystery of the Power Bank Phone Taking Over Ghana

Source: Quartz

Have you noticed an odd bulge in people’s shorts around Accra? It’s likely because, like many of my friends, they’ve recently acquired a new phone. But it’s not the iPhone 6 Plus, and it’s not the Samsung Galaxy S6.
Friday, May 22, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Vodacom's M-Pesa Relaunch Is a Flop

Source: Mobile Money Africa

A second attempt by Vodacom to launch the M-Pesa mobile payments platform in South Africa has flopped.
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.
Wednesday, May 20, 2015 — No Region Specified

Ripple scores $28 million funding round

Source: Finextra

Digital currency outfit Ripple Labs has closed a $28 million Series A funding round that includes IDG Capital Partners and the venture arms of CME Group and global data storage company Seagate Technology.
Tuesday, May 19, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Kenya’s million dollar bitcoin startup BitPesa expands to Tanzania

Source: Venture Burn

Kenyan bitcoin startup BitPesa is expanding to neighboring Tanzania about a year after it launched its mobile-friendly digital currency exchange.
Friday, May 15, 2015 — No Region Specified

How Moven’s New App Encourages Savings, Eliminates Product Silos

Source: The Financial Brand

Moven introduces a mobile banking application that uses real-time contextual insight to encourage savings, discourage impulse purchases and provide emergency funds seamlessly on a mobile phone or wearable device.
Monday, May 11, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Six Nigerian Banks Unveils New m-Payment System

Source: CPAfrica

Mobile payment system just got more convenient in Nigeria as a consortium of six banks have inaugurated the Unified Payments’ electronic money transaction scheme known as PayAttitude.
Friday, May 8, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Former CEO Brings New App, a ‘Branchless Bank’ to Kenya

Source: The Wall Street Journal

The former chief executive and co-founder of nonprofit lending platform, Matt Flannery, on Wednesday revealed his latest initiative Branch International Inc., which he calls “a mobile-based microfinance institution for the world.”
Thursday, May 7, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

MTN Rwanda partners with government to let taxpayers pay their taxes using mobile money

Source: PC Tech Magazine

MTN Rwanda has partnered with Rwanda Revenue Authority (RRA) to offer taxpayers an easier way to pay their taxes using the MTN Mobile Money platform.
Thursday, May 7, 2015 — South Asia

Alibaba enters into strategic partnership with Indian mobile wallet company Paytm

Source: Inc. 42

Through its marketplace AliExpress, Alibaba has entered into a strategic tie-up with Indian mobile wallet company Paytm.
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.
Friday, May 1, 2015 — No Region Specified

How The Internet of Everything Is Helping 'Unbanked' Citizens Around the World

Source: Huffington Post

In the future, if every device is connected to the Internet, what kind of life will those who are financially excluded have?
Wednesday, April 22, 2015 — Asia Pacific

In China, Alipay Wallet follows WeChat with launch of mobile city service payments

Source: Tech In Asia

China’s tech giants are working hard to make sure that consumers use their phones to pay for things. Today Alipay Wallet, the Alibaba-affiliated mobile wallet, announced it now enables Chinese users to fulfill municipal fees in 12 cities.
Thursday, April 16, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Why Ethiopian Financial Services Industry Is Slow on Mobile Banking

Source: AFKInsider

Ethiopia’s heavily regulated financial service sector is one of the least developed on sub-Saharan Africa with over 80 million people from a population of 94 million still unbanked, despite the rapid economic growth the horn of Africa nation has experienced over the last decade.
Tuesday, April 14, 2015 — No Region Specified

Consumers Trust Their Bank Most to Provide a Mobile Wallet

Source: Business Insider

When it comes to mobile wallets, journalists and bloggers have focused on offerings from tech companies like Apple and Google, but consumers are more likely to trust their own bank as a provider, a new ING International Survey of 10,169 mobile users shows.
Tuesday, April 14, 2015 — South Asia

India’s Paytm Crosses 50 Million Digital Wallets

Source: Live Mint

Mobile payment processor Paytm said on Monday that it now has over 50 million wallets on its platform and is expected to touch 100 million by 2015.
Monday, April 13, 2015 — South Asia

China's Financial Repression and Alibaba's Banking Arbitrage

Source: Forbes

There’s much stock market excitement about the various Chinese internet companies, Alibaba, Tencent, Xiaomi, and their move into what is essentially online banking. Will they be able to capute significant percentages of the market, just how dang big is that market anyway and which of them is going to do best? We, here at this particular part of Forbes, don’t do technology nor stock markets, but macroeconomics. And truth of the matter here is that all of those things are going to depend upon the Chinese Goivernment’s macroeconomic policy making. Specifically, how much are they going to relax the country’s current financial repression and how much are they going to allow these companies to arbitrage around it? Absolutely nothing else is going to have an effect as large as that one single decision.
Monday, April 6, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Africa Can Lead the Way in Mobile

Source: Business Day

It is a truth universally acknowledged that the future of Africa is mobile. And it does seem that the good news for mobile in Africa keeps on rolling in. This month a bullish MTN Group announced a 20% jump in net profit in 2014 from the previous year, with sales growth in Nigeria and other major markets such as Cameroon and Uganda. The company announced that it would invest R30bn this year to grow its infrastructure in the 23 countries where it operates.
Friday, April 3, 2015 — South Asia

Report: Over 700 Million in Asia Already Bank Digitally

Source: Nikkei Asian Review

According to a new report from McKinsey & Company, smartphones and high speed Internet access are transforming banking habits in Asia where over 700 million people already regularly conduct transactions online.
Wednesday, April 1, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Press Release: Millicom Launches Rwanda’s First Mobile-Based Savings Product with Tigo Cash

Source: Business Wire

Millicom (Stockholmsbörsen: MIC), the international telecommunications and media company, announced today that its Tigo operation in Rwanda has launched the country’s first mobile-based savings product – Tigo Sugira – with Tigo Cash.
Friday, March 27, 2015 — Asia Pacific

Four Major Banks Launch Branchless Banking Program in Indonesia

Source: The Jakarta Post

The Financial Services Authority (OJK), along with four of the nation’s largest banks, launched on Thursday a nationwide campaign on financial services without physical branches to help boost access to the banking system in rural areas.
Wednesday, March 18, 2015 — Asia Pacific

Chinese Phone Giant Xiaomi Tests Mobile Wallet That Pays Interest

Source: Re/Code

Chinese phone giant Xiaomi has introduced a new wrinkle on the mobile wallet: A portable account that bears interest.
Friday, March 13, 2015 — South Asia

India’s Top Mobile Wallet App Adds Support for Payments to Bank Accounts

Source: TechCrunch

Paytm, a India-based mobile payments service operated by (now) Alibaba-backed One97, has introduced a big new feature that lets 25 million users transfer money to bank accounts.
Wednesday, March 11, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

New 'M-Shwari-Like' Service Launched in Kenya

Source: ITWeb Africa

Safaricom has entered into a partnership with a leading bank in Kenya, the Kenya Commercial Bank (KCB), to launch a mobile banking product similar to M-shwari, named KCB-MPesa Account.
Friday, March 6, 2015 — No Region Specified

For the 'unbanked', mobile money still has some way to go

Source: Reuters

While many people have mobile money accounts – usually with the phone companies - few are actively used.
Tuesday, March 3, 2015 — No Region Specified

PRESS RELEASE: GSMA Report Shows Active Mobile Money Customers Increased by Over 40 Percent to 100 Million in 2014

Source: Business Wire

The GSMA’s Mobile Money for the Unbanked (MMU) programme today released its fourth annual ‘Mobile Financial Services State of the Industry Report’, providing a quantitative assessment of the state of mobile financial services, including mobile money, mobile insurance, mobile savings and mobile credit.
Tuesday, March 3, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Europeans Selling Mobile Payments Should Ask Africa for Help

Source: Bloomberg

As telecommunications carriers in Europe seek a share of the billions of dollars likely to flow to companies that build mobile-payment systems, Claudio Chiche has a few words of advice: Ask Africa for help.
Tuesday, March 3, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

MasterCard moves on remittances in Nigeria and Zimbabwe

Source: FinExtra

MasterCard announced partnerships to make international remittance services available to millions of consumers in both Nigeria and Zimbabwe.
Monday, March 2, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

The Mobile Banking Revolution and What It Means for South Africa

Source: Ventures Africa

New mobile payment platforms can provide a foundation for financial inclusion in South Africa and beyond, says David Abbott of Fiserv, a leading global provider of financial services technology solutions. But who will build the robust ecosystem required to fulfill their potential?
Wednesday, February 25, 2015 — Latin America

Citi and IBM Align to Accelerate Digital Banking Innovation Through Citi Mobile Challenge

Source: Market Watch

Citi® and IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced a collaboration to work with developers and build the next generation of financial technology (FinTech) through the Citi Mobile Challenge. IBM will offer mentorship tutorials, and access to Bluemix, IBM's digital innovation platform, to help developers participating in the Citi Mobile Challenge build, test and deploy their FinTech solutions. Citi Chief Client Experience, Digital and Marketing Officer for Global Consumer Banking Heather Cox and IBM Fellow and CTO Jerry Cuomo made the announcement at IBM InterConnect 2015, IBM's major cloud and mobile conference.
Thursday, February 19, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Smart ATMs Allow Mobile Money Transactions in Zimbabwe

Source: ITWeb Africa

Smart cash machines installed by Steward Bank, which is controlled by Zimbabwe's Econet Wireless, will allow mobile money users to make cardless transactions and airtime top-ups for account holders with other banks.
Wednesday, February 18, 2015 — No Region Specified

Half the World's Banks Could Disappear, and Most of the Branches

Source: Which 50

Banks have three to five years to get their digital act together before they enter a spiral of decline, according to a paper by McKinsey & Company. This view was echoed by BBVA chairman and CEO Francisco Gonzalez, who told media and analysts at the announcement of BBVA’s latest results that up to half the world’s banks could slip through the cracks as digital transformation takes hold.
Tuesday, February 10, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

West Africa Lags in Mobile Money Usage

Source: PCWorld

While most regions in Africa are recording significant uptake of mobile money, the West African region is lagging behind, according to a new report.
Tuesday, February 10, 2015 — South Asia

ICICI Bank, India’s Largest Private Sector Bank, Launches New e-Wallet for Mobile Payments

Source: Live Mint

ICICI Bank Ltd on Tuesday launched Pockets, a mobile payments wallet for Android phones, which can be topped up with money from any bank account for making phone-based payments.
Tuesday, February 10, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Ethiopia Backs Mobile Players for Financial Inclusion

Source: Mobile World Live

Two mobile money platforms have launched in Ethiopia, as the country looks to improve the take-up of bank services.
Friday, February 6, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Orange and Ecobank form African m-banking partnership

Source: FinExtra

Orange has struck a deal with Ecobank that will enable customers in several African countries to transfer money between accounts with the telco and financial services group through their mobile phones.
Friday, February 6, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Here’s where Africa’s payments revolution should be happening today

Source: Venture Burn

In emerging markets, mobile money services have the power to simplify lives, offering people the convenience of paying from anywhere and at any time, but also to transform them, playing a social noble role by addressing the unbanked or underserved population in Africa, offering them payment services they did not have access to before.
Thursday, February 5, 2015 — No Region Specified

Can Mobile Banking Revolutionize the Live of the Poor?

Source: The Verge

In the village of Sori along the banks of Kenya’s Lake Victoria, fishing has long been the lynchpin of the local economy. Jobs here are largely divided by gender: men catch the fish, and the women process the meat, take it to market, and handle finances.
Wednesday, February 4, 2015 — South Asia

Obama’s Visit, New Partnership Could Boost Mobile Money in India

Source: The World Post

The focus of the media attention during the president's visit was the historic invitation to be the honored guest at India's Republic Day -- a first for the U.S. and a signal of the close and evolving relationship between the two countries. However, what got little notice was something the president left behind, something that will likely contribute to the biggest transformation for the poor in India.
Tuesday, February 3, 2015 — South Asia

Vodafone says policy shortcomings, lack of awareness derailing mobile money growth in India

Source: Economic Times

Vodafone India has said that regulatory hurdles and lack of financial inclusion awareness is limiting the growth of mobile money, at a time when the government is pushing for greater financial inclusion.
Tuesday, February 3, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Rwanda: Central Bank Approvals Delay Crossborder Mobile Money Service

Source: All Africa

The infrastructure to facilitate the service is ready, but there have been delays in getting the necessary regulatory approvals by the central banks in Rwanda, Kenya and Uganda.
Friday, January 30, 2015 — No Region Specified

Bill Gates Explains Why Bitcoin Won't Help the Poor

Source: CoinBuzz

According to the World Bank, approximately 2.5 billion people (roughly half of the world’s adult population) does not have a bank account due to reasons such as lack of money, high fees, long distances, and complicated paperwork.
Monday, January 26, 2015 — South Asia

India Turns to Corner Shops, Mobile Phones for Banking Revolution

Source: Reuters

India is betting that mobile phone vendors, fuel stations and corner stores can help it put basic banking within the grasp of hundreds of millions of its poor people living beyond the reach of traditional bank branches.
Friday, January 23, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Card Payments Drop as Mobile Money Use Grows in Kenya

Source: AFKInsider

Payments made using plastic cards dipped by a fifth in 11 months to November last year as mobile phone-based payments ate into commercial banks’ business.
Wednesday, January 21, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Vodacom Adds EMV Banking Card to Complement M-Pesa Mobile Money Service in South Africa

Source: Ventures Africa

Leading digital security company, Gemalto has announced the deployment of prepaid EMV banking cards to complement Vodacom’s m-pesa mobile wallet service in South Africa.
Tuesday, January 20, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Report: Mobile Money Could Be a Silver Bullet for Financial Inclusion in Africa

Source: IT-Online

Mobile money is shaping up to be one of the most exciting areas in mobile communications, and is quickly transforming the way in which consumers and enterprises transact.
Tuesday, January 20, 2015 — South Asia

ICICI, India’s Largest Private Sector Bank, Launches Banking Service on Twitter

Source: The Hindu

ICICI Bank, India’s largest private sector bank, on Monday announced the launch of banking services on Twitter, the first of its kind service, in India.
Friday, January 16, 2015 — South Asia

bKash CEO Discusses the Scope, Growth and Future Prospects of Mobile Banking in Bangladesh

Source: Dhaka Tribune

In a recent interview with Dhaka Tribune, Kamal Quadir, CEO of bKash, discusses the scope, growth and future prospects of mobile banking in our country.
Thursday, January 15, 2015 — Europe & Eurasia

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

Source: Market Wired

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

Etisalat Partners with Firstbank to Provide Mobile Money in Nigeria

Source: allAfrica

In a partnership which industry watchers hailed as capable of entrenching financial inclusion and lead innovation in mobile payment systems, Etisalat Nigeria and FirstBank have teamed up to provide Firstmonie on the Etisalat Easywallet SIM application solution.
Wednesday, January 14, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Kenya Warned of Risks of Cybercrime Targeting Online and Mobile Banking

Source: ITWeb Africa

Global security services provider Kaspersky Lab has presented an overview of general threats in 2015, as well as that which is expected to dominate Kenya's threat landscape. The Company explains why there can be no respite for being vigilant.
Friday, December 19, 2014 — South Asia

Triotech Raises $3 Million From Singapore VC Firm Bluehill

Source: The Economic Times

Mobile payment services company Triotech Solutions has raised $3 million (nearly Rs 19 crore) from Singaporebased venture-capital firm Bluehill in its first round of funding.
Thursday, December 18, 2014 — South Asia

Is India approaching a perfect storm in digital financial services?

Source: Live Mint

In the use of digital technologies, financial services in India lag behind other sectors. But a perfect storm may soon come and enable technology-led disruption at a far greater scale.
Thursday, December 18, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Will Africa’s Mobile Money Revolution Take Hold?

Source: AFKInsider

When mobile network operator (MNO) Safaricom launched its M-Pesa mobile payments system in Kenya seven years ago, few business models were as ripe to explode. With extremely high mobile penetration rates, a high proportion of unbanked households, a regulatory system that allowed telecoms companies rather than banks to lead the way, and a migrant population suffering from expensive domestic remittances, it is little wonder that more than two-thirds of Kenyan adults use the service today.
Wednesday, December 17, 2014 — South Asia

State Bank of India to Provide Mobile Financial Services to Underserved

Source: Mobile Payments Today

Amdocs, a provider of customer experience products, today announced the selection of its mobile financial services product in association with Triotech's product, which will enable State Bank of India to offer mobile financial services to India's unbanked and underbanked population, using the mobile network of Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited. The solution will be delivered under a five-year services contract, according to a press release.
Friday, December 12, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Vodacom has big M-Pesa plans in South Africa

Source: IT Web

Vodacom aims to push the envelope with its revamped M-Pesa in 2015, a year in which it hopes it will emerge as the most disruptive player in the local mobile money space.
Friday, December 12, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

E-Kwanza Mobile Payment Service Launched in Angola

Source: HumanIPO

Angolan Investment Bank (BAI) has launched e-Kwanza a mobile money service that allows users to make transfers and payments for goods and services across the country.
Tuesday, December 9, 2014 — South Asia

What Happens to Money in E-Wallets in India?

Source: Live Mint

Electronic and in-app wallets have emerged as another payment option. Many companies, especially those in e-commerce and telecom services, offer wallets where consumers can preload money and use to pay for services. Here’s a look at the treatment of money stored in various kinds of wallets.
Friday, December 5, 2014 — No Region Specified

Timor Leste’s First Mobile Money Pilot Launched to Expand Access to Financial Services

Source: National Journal

BNU, in partnership with Timor Telecom, and with support from the Inclusive Finance for the Under-Served Economy (INFUSE) Programme and MicroSave, launched Timor-Leste's first mobile wallet product called BNU Mobile.
Thursday, December 4, 2014 — No Region Specified

PRESS RELEASE: Citi Announces Top Innovations from Global Financial Technology Challenge

Source: BWW Geeks World

Today Citi announced the top innovations from the Citi Mobile Challenge U.S., a groundbreaking global initiative that invites technology developers to reimagine digital banking and fuel innovation in the financial industry.
Thursday, December 4, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

United Bank of Africa, Airtel to Launch Mobile Financial Services Across Africa

Source: Ghana Web

United Bank for Africa (UBA) is partnering with telecoms firm, Bharti Airtel to provide mobile-based financial services across Africa through Airtel Money.
Thursday, December 4, 2014 — Asia Pacific

Firms, Aid Groups Help Filipinos Borrow From Banks Instead of Sharks

Source: Reuters

Housewife Jenny Orquiza, whose home was damaged by super typhoon Haiyan, did not imagine that the Philippines' biggest natural disaster would lead to her getting something she never had - a bank account.
Wednesday, December 3, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

In Nigeria Mobile Banking Transactions Hit N430 Billion

Source: allAfrica

Mobile payments system, also known as mobile banking in the country has recorded a total of 15 million transactions since the inception of the scheme in 2012 with 58 million subscribers while the total value of the transactions till date is N430 billion.
Tuesday, December 2, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

MTN Launches Mobile Money Cross-Border Remittance Service Between Ivory Coast and Benin

Source: HumanIPO

Telecoms company MTN today launched mobile money cross-border remittance service between Ivory Coast and Benin. It said the service will further enable cheaper and easy movement of money in the West Africa region.
Monday, December 1, 2014 — No Region Specified

Vodacom Looking to Expand Use of M-pesa

Source: Business Day

Vodacom is in talks with small and big companies with the aim of getting them to use its mobile payment platform, m-pesa, to pay salaries to employees and allow customers to pay for goods using the system.
Monday, December 1, 2014 — South Asia

Reserve Bank of India Prohibits Airtel, Vodafone & Idea From Using Existing Channels for Payments Banks Business

Source: The Economic Times

The Reserve Bank of India's final rules on payments banks prohibit telecom operators from leveraging their nationwide retailer networks and channels if they enter the new business, but analysts say this is a good opportunity for mobile phone companies to add another revenue stream given their existing consumer connect.
Wednesday, November 26, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Kenya: Equity's SIM Technology to Go Live By March - James Mwangi

Source: allAfrica

EQUITY Bank plans to officially launch its mobile money platform Equitel - the trading brand of its telecoms subsidiary Finserve Africa - next quarter, chief executive James Mwangi said yesterday.
Tuesday, November 25, 2014 — No Region Specified

Bank On Poor Women And Phones To Drive Growth In Africa, Experts Say

Source: Thomson Reuters Foundation

Mobile phone technology can help to bring financial services to the 80 percent of African women who do not have a bank account and bolster the growth of the world's poorest continent, Nigeria's finance minister, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, said on Monday.
Tuesday, November 25, 2014 — South Asia

Indian M-Wallet Market To Cross Rs 1,200 Crore By 2019: Study

Source: The Times of India

The infant mobile wallet market in India is estimated to grow over threefold to Rs 1,210 crore in the next five years, buoyed by rising smartphone users and entry of newer players into the sector.
Monday, November 24, 2014 — South Asia

Mobile Banking Will Soon Be Possible in India With a Basic Handset and Without Accessing the Internet

Source: The Economic Times

Banking will have a new look with some of the jigsaw pieces slowly falling into place. Almost all dealings between a customer and her bank will be possible with a basic handset and without accessing the Internet.
Tuesday, November 11, 2014 — No Region Specified

Why mobile money is so tough to crack in South Africa

Source: TechCentral

Mobile Money is proving to be a tough nut to crack. Here is why.
Tuesday, November 11, 2014 — No Region Specified

Q&A: West African Bitcoin Transfer Firm Joins Fight Against Ebola

Source: AFKInsider

Bitcoin, a “decentralized virtual currency” according to the U.S. Treasury, is the first cryptocurrency to be rolled out in its entirety. In addition — when considering market value — Bitcoin is largest cryptocurrency.
Tuesday, November 11, 2014 — No Region Specified

96% of mobile payment agents in Bangladesh are profitable, says MicroSave study

Source: The Daily Star

Ninety-six percent of mobile payment agents in Bangladesh are making profits, thanks to low operational costs, a testament to how popular the service has become in just a few years, according to a study.
Friday, November 7, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Econet Wireless partners with Western Union in Zimbabwe

Source: New Zimbabwe

ZIMBABWE’S largest mobile telecoms company by earnings and subscribers Econet Wireless and Western Union Company, a leader in global payment services, have teamed up to offer consumers fast and reliable international money transfers.
Friday, November 7, 2014 — Latin America

WorldRemit expands mobile money transfer services to Latin America

Source: Mobile Payments Today

WorldRemit, an online and mobile money transfer company, has announced a partnership with Bancomer Transfer Services Inc. to offer money transfers to Latin America.
Thursday, November 6, 2014 — South Asia

Can M-Pesa Succeed in India?

Source: Business Today

This case study looks at how M-Pesa, a service that originated in Kenya, was tweaked for India and whether it can succeed.
Thursday, November 6, 2014 — No Region Specified

PRESS RELEASE: GSMA Introduces Code of Conduct for Mobile Money Providers

Source: Business Wire

The GSMA today launched a Code of Conduct for Mobile Money Providers, outlining a series of common business principles to enable the development of safe and responsible digital financial services.
Wednesday, November 5, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Safaricom of Kenya Braces for Competition on Key Cash Earner

Source: Business Week

Safaricom Ltd., East Africa’s biggest cellular-network operator, is bracing for competition in its key mobile-money business that helped boost first-half profit by 30 percent, CEO Bob Collymore said.
Tuesday, November 4, 2014 — South Asia

Indian start-up to enable bank transactions via kirana stores

Source: Business Standard

Novopay uses Aadhaar biometric scanner for dealings
Monday, November 3, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Equity says 200,000 have signed up for its mobile money platform in Kenya

Source: The Star

EQUITY Bank yesterday said it has “quietly” registered over 200,000 customers on its mobile money transfer platform, Equitel, in the ongoing rollout.
Thursday, October 30, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Rwanda joins Better Than Cash Alliance as part of bid to achieve 80% financial inclusion by 2017

Source: FinExtra

Rwanda has joined the Better Than Cash Alliance to help accelerate the adoption of electronic payments in the country as part of a commitment to achieve 80% financial inclusion by 2017.
Tuesday, October 28, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Dusty Tanzania Market Shows Next Step in Mobile Banking

Source: Bloomberg

Like millions of Africans, Sebastian Adam uses M-Pesa, a service that lets him pay bills with his mobile phone. With his wife pregnant, Adam decided it was time to start saving -- and to earn interest on the money he saves -- so he switched to a newer offering called M-Pawa.
Monday, October 27, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Airtel, Kenya Revenue Authority partnership enables subscribers to pay taxes via mobiles

Source: The Daily Nation

Airtel subscribers can now pay their taxes through their mobile money platform following a partnership with the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA), which will also see the telco grow its revenues.
Monday, October 27, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Zimbabwe's OneWallet posts massive loss as EcoCash thrives

Source: The Independent

Government-ownded mobile phone operator NetOne generated a paltry US$1 194 in revenue from its mobile money transfer platform OneWallet for the year-ending December 31 2012 after investing close to a quarter of a million dollars in the product.
Friday, October 24, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

PRESS RELEASE: Mobile Money for the Poor Expanded to Enable Millions in Africa to Access Financial Services

Source: UNCDF

UNCDF, the UN’s capital investment agency for the world’s 48 Least Developed Countries (LDCs),has partnered with The MasterCard Foundation to expand a flagship program that will enable three million low-income clients in Africa to access mobile financial services for the first time.
Friday, October 24, 2014 — Asia Pacific

Regional Development Banks and Sharia Banks Can Go Mobile, says Indonesia's Financial Services Authority

Source: Jakarta Post

As part of efforts to open up greater public access to financial services, the Financial Services Authority (OJK) will regulate the implementation of branchless banking, especially for regional development banks (BPD) and sharia banks, a top official says.
Wednesday, October 22, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

OPINION: Cash still king in Africa, despite mobile money rise

Source: IT Web Africa

Over 25 million Kenyans use mobile money services but one expert says “cash is still king” in most of the continent.
Wednesday, October 22, 2014 — Latin America

Ecuador backs national mobile wallet

Source: Mobile World Live

In an unusual move, Ecuador is reportedly building its own mobile wallet to boost financial inclusion, without the involvement of the country’s operators or banks.
Friday, October 17, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Africa: The Overlooked Hub of Payments Innovation

Source: Payments Source

A number of financial institutions are using emerging technology to deliver payments on the continent.
Wednesday, October 15, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Data Specialist in Court Bid to Block Equity's SIM Card

Source: 4 Traders

Equity Bank's thin-SIM mobile money transfer system faces more hurdles after a data specialist went to court seeking to block its rollout.
Tuesday, October 14, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Africa: 10 Reasons Why Mobile Rocks in Africa

Source: allAfrica

Mobile use in Africa is expected to increase 20-fold in the next five years.
Monday, October 6, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

OPINION: Is mobile money the key to Africa’s cashless society?

Source: IT News Africa

As the story of the mobile phone and its contribution in bridging the digital divide in Sub-Saharan Africa unfolds, the device’s revolutionary role in facilitating transactions and wealth distribution in the region is shaping up in an unprecedented way.
Friday, September 26, 2014 — South Asia

Boom time for e-commerce in India; but customers face heightened risk of fraud

Source: Economic Times

As more Indians step up to make online payments, there is a proliferation of payment gateways and mobile wallets, many of which are facing the risk of being misused by unscrupulous merchants.
Monday, September 22, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

OPINION: Safaricom, Equity Bank thin SIM wars a distraction that should not drag on

Source: Standard Digital

Nairobi; Kenya: The dispute pitting Safaricom against Equity Bank over the latter’s plans to offer mobile money transfer services is unnecessary and should not be allowed to drag on.
Friday, September 19, 2014 — No Region Specified

Why the U.S. Lags the World in Mobile Payments

Source: Time

Many American consumers are beyond excited by the prospect of Apple Pay, but overseas the iPhone's latest feature is old news.
Thursday, September 18, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Safaricom prepares for battle, sets date for new Mpesa network

Source: Standard Digital

The stage is set for deployment of Safaricom’s long-awaited new M-Pesa system, raising stakes in the ongoing battle between the mobile phone service provider and a slew of new entrants in the mobile money transfer business, led by Equity Bank.
Thursday, September 18, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Free mobile money transactions from Airtel to boost Rwanda's financial inclusion drive

Source: All Africa

The government's efforts geared at ensuring that all Rwandans access financial services have been boosted by Airtel Rwanda, which has scrapped charges on Airtel Money service transactions.
Thursday, September 18, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Orange Money links up with Bank of Africa for mobile banking

Source: Finextra

Wireless operator Orange has integrated its mobile Money platform with the Bank of Africa, enabling users to perform basic banking transactions with their handsets.
Wednesday, September 17, 2014 — No Region Specified

A Day in the Life of the Unbanked Consumer — And How Mobile Can Help

Source: ReCode

To fully understand the effect that mobile payment technology is having on our world, let’s take a look at a day in the life of individuals who are oceans apart but have one thing in common: No bank account.
Wednesday, September 17, 2014 — No Region Specified

How Telcos, MTOs and Banks Could Crash over Remittances


Hugo Cuevas-Mohr shares insights gleaned from his work with money transfer professionals from all over the world about the remittance market, the role of traditional players, banks and telcos and who has the edge as this $500 billion industry evolves.
Monday, September 15, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Nigeria: Massive Response to Historic Mobile Money Network

Source: All Africa

Hundreds of residents have thronged meetings and training sessions organized for prospective sales agents for the country's first super mobile money network.
Monday, September 15, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Kenya MPs to rule on Equity Mobile Virtual Network Operator services

Source: East African Business Week

Equity Bank will have to wait a little longer before rolling out its Mobile Virtual Network Operator services in Kenya.
Friday, September 12, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

The Rise And Rise Of Mobile Money

Source: Leadership

Mobile Money transactions are gradually taking off in Nigeria after a very slow start due to inability to fully comprehend the scheme, lack of technology by those licensed to operate it and low level of the awareness by the public.
Wednesday, September 10, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Globacom’s new direction for mobile money development in Nigeria

Source: Business Day Online

Globacom is in a renewed push to scale up mobile money services in Nigeria, through the formation of a new partnership ecosystem, comprising of leading financial services companies, and a robust nationwide agent network.
Monday, September 8, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Safaricom and Equity take Row over Thin SIM to Parliament

Source: Standard Digital

Kenya’s biggest mobile network operator, Safaricom, and biggest bank in terms of customer base and reach, Equity Bank, appeared before a House committee on their push and pull over Equity’s bid to offer mobile money services.
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.
Wednesday, August 20, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Safaricom cuts fees on low and medium value M-PESA transfers

Source: Biztech Africa

Leading integrated communications service provider Safaricom has announced a targeted reduction of transaction fees levied by the operator on its most popular person to person M-PESA transaction bands.
Wednesday, August 13, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

African mobile money technology expands in Europe

Source: New Vision

Africans have long used technology developed abroad, but now a Kenyan cash transfer network which bypasses banks is being adopted in Europe.
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

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 23, 2014 — Latin America

Financial Inclusion in Paraguay: New Mobile Money Regulation

Source: GSMA

The opportunity to increase financial access in Paraguay is massive.
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.
Wednesday, July 9, 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 9, 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.
Monday, July 7, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Kenya's mobile innovation brings digital money closer

Source: BBC News

Kenyan financial services heavyweight Equity Bank is planning to roll out mobile banking services in July, using innovative paper-thin SIM technology.
Thursday, June 19, 2014 — No Region Specified

Xpress Money Joins Hands with Safaricom to Boost Mobile Remittances in Kenya

Source: Market Watch

Xpress Money, the world's most dependable money transfer brand, today announced its tie up with Safaricom to offer money transfer services on the latter's popular M-PESA platform in Kenya.
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.
Tuesday, May 20, 2014 — No Region Specified

Vodafone India completes pan-India M-Pesa rollout in Q4-FY14

Source: Media Nama

Vodafone India which operates the mobile payment service M-Pesa through its wholly owned subsidiary Mobile Commerce Solutions Ltd (MCSL), has completed the pan-India rollout of the service in March 2014, about one year since its India launch and about 16 months after the initial announcement.
Friday, May 16, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Small businesses in Kenya embrace mobile money payments

Source: Coastweek

Small business operators in Kenya have for many years resisted mobile money payments as they preferred cash transactions.
Tuesday, May 13, 2014 — No Region Specified

CWC Launches Panama’s First Mobile Money Service

Source: Developing Telecoms

Cable & Wireless Panama (CWP) has launched MovilCash, Panama’s first mobile money service.
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 9, 2014 — No Region Specified

M-Pesa gets faster payments upgrade

Source: Finextra

Kenyan telco Safaricom has upgraded its M-Pesa mobile money service to implement near-instantaneous transactions.
Tuesday, May 6, 2014 — No Region Specified

Mobile money boosts Econet revenues in Zimbabwe

Source: ITWeb Africa

Econet Wireless, the biggest telecoms firm in Zimbabwe, has 780,000 additional subscribers for the year-end to February, it said on Monday, while revenues have risen 8% to $752.7 million.
Thursday, May 1, 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 1, 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.
Tuesday, April 29, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Nigeria’s First Commercial Contactless Payment Solution Deployed

Source: Human IPO

Teasy Mobile Money has announced the successful deployment of Nigeria’s first commercial near field communication (NFC) contactless payments solution.
Monday, April 28, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

World Bank to Spend $8 Billion on Nigeria Over Four Years

Source: Bloomberg

The World Bank said it will provide Nigeria with projects worth $8 billion targeting job creation, social services and governance as part of its new country partnership strategy with Africa’s largest economy.
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 5, 2014 — Asia Pacific

As Myanmar opens up, will mobile money emerge?

Source: Giga Om

It’s an unprecedented moment in Myanmar’s history as the country opens up to financing, technology and connectivity. Will mobile payments play a role in transforming the country?
Wednesday, February 12, 2014 — No Region Specified

M-Pesa, MoneyGram in money transfer service agreement

Source: Human IPO

M-Pesa – through its parent company Vodafone – and global money transfer and payment services firm MoneyGram have signed an agreement enabling consumers to transfer funds directly from around 200 countries to the millions of M-Pesa users.
Tuesday, February 4, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Kenyan Banks Battle to Go Fully Digital in Race for Cheap Deposits

Source: The Standard Digital

A customer can deposit cheques, open an account, place standing orders, transfer funds, make balance enquiries and pay for utilities without actually going to the banking hall.
Monday, December 16, 2013 — No Region Specified

In the Pacific, banks go branchless to reach the unbanked

Source: Islands Business

Branchless banking, mobile banking, mobile “wallets”, innovations in financial services are seeing thousands of poor and low-income people use their mobile phones to enter the financial system for the first time; to open accounts, get paid, save money and begin to move out of poverty.
Thursday, December 12, 2013 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Uganda: Mobile Money Gives Banks a Run

Source: All Africa

To Richard Mwebaze, the message was loud, clear and a welcome relief from those dreaded bank queues. The head teacher at one of his children's school said parents were now free to pay school fees by mobile money.
Tuesday, November 26, 2013 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Telecoms and Banks lock horns over mobile banking in Zimbabwe

Source: The Africa Report

The bankers association accuse the mobile telephone operators of exploiting a grey area in the Banking Act.
Thursday, November 14, 2013 — Asia Pacific

China’s Alipay mobile wallet app users have almost reached 100 million

Source: Global Times

China's largest e-payment company Alibaba Group Holding Ltd's Alipay Wednesday said that users of its "mobile wallet" app have reached nearly 100 million across the nation so far.
Monday, October 28, 2013 — Asia Pacific

In Indonesia, Mobile banking becomes a source of local banks’ revenue

Source: The Jakarta Post

With the sharp increase in the use of smartphones, mobile banking has become an important source of income for Indonesian banks that are now expanding fee-based services to boost their profits.
Monday, October 21, 2013 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Tanzania: Mobile Money Takes Firm Grip On Tanzanians

Source: allAfrica

Mobile money has taken off in Tanzania over the last few years and about a quarter of the population is now using mobile money services.
Thursday, October 17, 2013 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Mobile money growth accelerates as operators adopt new innovations

Source: BusinessDay

The volume of mobile money transactions processed in Nigeria is gathering momentum after a slow start as operators adopt new innovations. In June, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) reported that licensed operators had processed transactions amounting to N64 billion in the previous 12 months, however 60 percent of the total had taken place in the final three months.
Thursday, October 10, 2013 — South Asia

Strong signals for mobile banking

Source: Financial Express

With 840 million phones potentially competing against less than 85,000 bank branches, there is no doubt over mobile banking’s potential to accelerate financial inclusion.
Tuesday, October 1, 2013 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Telcos’ exclusion slows uptake in Nigerian mobile money business

Source: Business Day

Analysts have identified the exclusion of telecommunications operators from playing critical roles in the implementation of mobile money as a significant drawback to the uptake of the service two years after its launch by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
Thursday, September 26, 2013 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Financial services access hits 67% on mobile payments

Source: Business Daily Africa

Two thirds of Kenyans are now able to access formal financial services indicating increased deposit mobilisation in the country following success in mobile payment services and increased penetration by commercial banks.
Tuesday, September 24, 2013 — No Region Specified

MasterCard Promotes Financial Inclusion With Electronic Payments

Source: Forbes

While payment cards are often promoted as premium status-driven consumer products in the United States and Europe, in developing countries debit cards are proving valuable for delivering child benefits, pension payments and government salaries.
Tuesday, September 17, 2013 — South Asia

Editorial: E-banking requires better technology support for operation

Source: Financial Express

Mobile banking is gaining ground among the people of the country since the Bangladesh Bank (BB) formulated a guideline nearly two years ago. Mobile banking grew at a faster pace, proving that it is more useful than the formal banking. Transaction through mobile banking service has been increasing at a rate of 20 per cent every month. Some 7.2 million people now make the use of different services under mobile banking services through more than one lakh outlets across the country.
Tuesday, September 17, 2013 — No Region Specified

Digital payments key to financial inclusion, says Gates report

Source: Central Banking

Digital payments systems are key to providing wider access to financial services, but customers in developing countries may have to pay each time they use them in order for the economics to stack up, according to a new report on financial inclusion from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
Wednesday, September 11, 2013 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Bank? What bank? Orange, Visa and the changing face of Africa's mobile money

Source: ZD Net

While relatively few Africans have a bank account, companies are finding new ways to offer consumers bank-type services just using mobile devices.
Wednesday, September 4, 2013 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Kenya: Are Bitcoins the Future of Mobile Money?

Source: Think Africa Press

The use of the virtual currency Bitcoins could change the way money flows in Kenya. But it hasn't caught on just yet.
Tuesday, September 3, 2013 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Africa will Rule the World in Mobile Money, Expert Predicts

Source: This Day Live

African countries like Nigeria, Kenya, and Tanzania have been predicted to rule the world in mobile money transactions, which include mobile banking and mobile wallet, in the next few years, going by the continent’s population and zeal for technology advancement.
Tuesday, May 28, 2013 — Latin America

How an iPad in a corner store can spell success in Mexico

Source: The Christian Science Monitor

On the outskirts of Mexico City, just past the dusty plateau of a defunct landfill, the cinder block houses of Chimalhuacán crowd a hillside. It’s a city beyond a city, made up of nearly 1 million residents including surrounding areas, yet it lacks many of services and stores one might expect of a city ­– like banks.
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.
Thursday, January 24, 2013 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Kenyans Prioritizing Mobile Phone Over Food, Transport

Source: Voice of America

NAIROBI — A recent study commissioned by the World Bank suggests that increasing numbers of Kenyans in the poorest socioeconomic group are foregoing food and transport or opting for cheaper alternatives, to buy credit to use mobile phones. Mobile phones were once considered luxury goods in Kenya. But with decreasing prices, people of all socioeconomic levels have come to rely upon them for both personal and professional needs.
Friday, December 14, 2012 — No Region Specified

Mobile Technology a Game Changer in Developing World

Source: CIO

As much disruption and upheaval as the Internet age has brought to far-flung industries like education, energy and finance, the emergence of mobile computing has a much greater potential for change on a global scale, a group of experts said on Thursday.
Friday, December 14, 2012 — South Asia

Will Saral Money reduce corruption?

Source: ZDNet

India's ruling government is making cash transfers an important pillar in its 2014 election strategy, and while others might call it bribery, citizens shouldn't complain if such initiatives help reduce corruption.
Friday, November 30, 2012 — No Region Specified

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: MasterCard Foundation, CGAP Announce $11.4m Partnership for Branchless Banking, Client Research


The MasterCard Foundation, a Canada-based nongovernmental organization (NGO) supporting microfinance and education, and CGAP (Consultative Group to Assist the Poor), a US-based nonprofit policy and research center, recently announced a USD 11.4 million partnership to develop low-cost financial products to assist people living in poverty.
Tuesday, November 27, 2012 — Sub-Saharan Africa

M-Shwari platform set to shake up small loans market

Source: Business Daily Africa

Safaricom subscribers can now operate mobile-based savings accounts, earn interest on their deposits and borrow small loans in a move set to raise competition against banks, saccos and shylocks.
Friday, October 19, 2012 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Poor Infrastructure may hinder gains of mobile money market

Source: Business Day

Nigeria's mobile money market is worth $7.2 billion according to Accenture, however the prevalence of poor infrastructure is hindering its takeoff.
Wednesday, October 10, 2012 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Samsung, KWFT pact to boost mobile banking

Source: Capital FM

NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 10 – Samsung has partnered with local microfinance solutions provider, Kenya Women Finance Trust – Deposit Taking Microfinance (KWFT-DTM) to promote the uptake of mobile technology solutions among women.
Thursday, October 4, 2012 — Latin America

Accion Invests $3 Million in Mobile Services Provider Tiaxa

Source: Press Release

Accion announced today that its Frontier Investments Group has invested US$3 million in Zonamovil Inc. (“Tiaxa”), a Chilean provider of managed services for the wireless telecom market. For more than 10 years, Tiaxa has provided mobile network operators globally with billing and rating services for prepaid mobile phone users, as well as innovative financial and business intelligence services that increase operator revenues and improve user satisfaction and loyalty.
Tuesday, August 21, 2012 — Asia Pacific

Rural banks partner with telcos to boost microfinance

Source: The Manila Times

Rural banks will soon have their own set of “killer apps” to better compete with bigger banks and, more importantly, expand their microfinance services in the Philippines.
Wednesday, August 1, 2012 — Latin America

Digital Money, Mobile Wallets and Latin America

Source: Huffington Post

A recent wave of global and regional announcements regarding mobile wallets and payment systems has casual and close followers alike asking some the same questions.
Monday, July 30, 2012 — Latin America

DBJ pilots mobile solution to microfinancing

Source: The Jamaica Gleaner

In a bid to reduce loan costs for small-scale commercial borrowers, the Development Bank of Jamaica (DBJ) is piloting a mobile money product that was given the green light by the Bank of Jamaica mid-year.
Tuesday, July 3, 2012 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Acumen Fund Invests in Paga to Scale Money Transfer Service across Nigeria

Source: Acumen Fund Blog

Lagos - Paga, Nigeria’s leading money transfer service launched in February 2011, today announced it has secured new investments from Adlevo Capital, Omidyar Network, Acumen Fund, Capricorn Investment Group, and current investors Goodwell West Africa Microfinance Development Company.
Thursday, June 14, 2012 — No Region Specified

USAID and Citi partnering to bring mobile money to world's unbanked

Source: Mobile Payments Today

The U.S. Agency for International Development, tasked with the administration and distribution of international aid from the U.S. government, announced it is forming a new partnership with Citi. The partnership is aimed at providing financial inclusion for the world's un- and underbanked by encouraging "mobile money" technology in developing countries. It was announced at the USAID Frontiers in Development forum held at Georgetown University.
Tuesday, May 15, 2012 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Can mobile banking boost financial inclusion in Nigeria?

Source: How We Made It in Africa

In Nigeria, Africa’s most populous country with around 167 million people, mobile banking has been relatively slow to take off. This is, however, changing. Last year the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) issued the first operating licences to 11 companies to provide mobile banking services.
Tuesday, May 15, 2012 — South Asia

Genpact to buy VentureEast-backed Atyati Technologies

Source: VCCircle

Business processing outsourcing major Genpact Ltd has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Atyati Technologies, a technology platform provider for the rural banking sector in India. The terms of the transaction, including the stake acquired and the deal value, remain undisclosed. The deal is expected to close in 3-4 weeks.
Friday, May 11, 2012 — Sub-Saharan Africa

The bank of SMS

Source: The Economist

AFRICA is the continent where “mobile money”—monetary transactions on mobile phones—is by far the most advanced. According to a new survey of financial habits by the Gates Foundation, the World Bank and Gallup, in 20 countries more than 10% of adults said that they had used mobile money at some point in the previous 12 months; 15 of those countries were in Africa.
Tuesday, March 20, 2012 — Latin America

Tigo Helps Remittances Go Mobile

Source: Fast Company

In countries like Guatemala, remittances from migrant workers in the U.S. are critical to the economy. Tigo, an international telecom, has a unique plan to use mobile banking to simplify a trying process.
Wednesday, February 29, 2012 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Omidyar Network and ACCION Invest US $3.2 Million in Mobile Transactions International

Source: PR Newswire

Omidyar Network and ACCION International announced today that they have invested US $3.2 million in Mobile Transactions International, a Zambia-based company that leverages mobile technology and an agent network to enable financial transactions across the Zambian economy. The $4 million investment round also includes $500,000 in converted debt funding from Mennonite Economic Development Associates.
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