CGAP (the Consultative Group to Assist the Poor), a US-based, nonprofit policy and research center that aims to facilitate the expansion of financial access, is seeking submissions of original photographs for its annual competition, which aims to highlight the positive effects of microfinance.
Paytm, an Indian electronic payment and e-commerce company with 220 million users, recently raised INR 90 billion (USD 1.4 billion) in equity by selling nearly 20 percent of its shares to SoftBank Group, a Japanese conglomerate operating in the technology and energy sectors.
Vodacom, a unit of UK-based Vodafone Group Plc that provides mobile communications services to 61 million subscribers in Africa, is paying Vodafone ZAR 34.6 billion (USD 2.6 billion) for a 34.94-percent stake in Safaricom, a Kenyan mobile network operator.
South African technology firm AxMe International Services recently expanded its SureBüddy insurance application to Uganda, allowing users in that country to view advertisements in return for no-cost insurance for their mobile phone screens.
The MasterCard Foundation, which is based in Canada, is accepting applications through June 5 for its 2017 “Clients at the Centre” Prize, which includes a cash award of USD 150,000.
Ant Financial Services Group, a member of China’s Alibaba Group and the parent company of Alipay, and Elang Mahkota Teknologi (Emtek), an Indonesia-based media company, recently announced plans to launch a mobile payment platform in Indonesia. The new service will run on BlackBerry Messenger (BBM)
Ant Financial Services Group (Ant Fin), a member of China’s Alibaba Group, and Ayala Corporation, a Philippine conglomerate, recently announced their purchases of minority stakes in Globe Fintech Innovations, a financial technology (fintech) affiliate of Globe Telecom that uses the trade name Mynt. Mynt operates GCash, a mobile money
The government of Pakistan recently announced the start the Pakistan Financial Inclusion and Infrastructure Project with funding totaling USD 130 million from two arms of the World Bank, the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) and the International Development Association (IDA). Three Pakistani organizations will carry out the project: the Pakistan Microfinance Investment Company, a new organization funded by
In partnership with US-based eCurrency, Senegal’s Banque Régionale de Marché (BRM) is planning to launch a digital version of CFA francs, the currency used by the West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU), which comprises Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Guinea-Bissau, Mali, Niger, Senegal and Togo. The currency is described as
“The Africa and Middle East Alternative Finance Benchmarking Report”; by The Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance (CCAF) and Energy4Impact; published by CCAF; February 2017; 64 pages; available at https://www.scribd.com/document/338995486/CCAF-Africa-and-Middle-East-Alternative-Finance-Report-2017#download&from_embed/
This report focuses on assessing the types and prevalence of alternative financing in Africa and the Middle East.
Mastercard, a US-based technology and payments company; and Unilever, a UK-based supplier of consumer goods, recently announced that they will develop a partnership to provide access to digital technologies to small-scale entrepreneurs in developing countries with the aim of helping them buy supplies and sell goods more efficiently. The partnership’s first project will be to spread the use of Mastercard’s digital payment platforms via
Tigo Rwanda Limited, a unit of Sweden’s Millicom that offers mobile telecommunications services, recently announced it has launched its TigoNshoboza Loan Service, which allows users of the Tigo Cash service in Rwanda to access loans via their mobile wallets. TigoNshoboza is in a pilot phase, so the number
Ecobank Tanzania, a unit of Togo-based Ecobank Group, recently announced its launch of the Ecobank Mobile App, which allows customers to use mobile devices to perform fund transfers, top-up airtime, pay bills, check forex rates, view account statements, make retail payments, and interface with payment cards and checks.
“The Long-run Poverty and Gender Impacts of Mobile Money”; by Tavneet Suri and William Jack; published in Science; December 8, 2016, 4 pages; available at http://science.sciencemag.org/content/354/6317/1288.full/
This article reviews a study that assessed the impact of the M-Pesa mobile payment service in Kenya.
AYo, which is a joint venture between two South African firms, insurer MMI Holdings and the MTN (Mobile Telecommunications Network) Group, recently launched its first two products, both in Uganda: (1) Recharge with Care, which provides life and/or hospitalization insurance when an MTN phone subscriber buys airtime; and (2) Send with Care, which
“How to Succeed in Your Digital Journey: a Series of Toolkits for Financial Service Providers”; Published by the United Nations Capital Development Fund’s MicroLead Program; October 2016; available upon request via: https://uncdf.wufoo.com/forms/q4pnwh31pqtp7r/
This first portion of a six-part digital toolkit, which is available in English and French, was designed to benefit microfinance institutions (MFIs) and other financial services providers that aim to offer digital financial services to unbanked populations residing in remote locations.
The World Bank Group’s International Finance Corporation (IFC) recently agreed to provide two years of advisory services, valued at USD 1 million, to FINCA DRC, a unit of US-based FINCA Microfinance Holding Company that provides savings and credit services to 256,000 customers in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The goal is to
Letshego Holding Limited, which is based in Botswana and offers deposit and lending services in 10 African countries, recently paid an undisclosed price to Jumo World Limited, a financial technology firm registered in Mauritius, for all of the shares of afb Ghana, which has 60,000 customers and total assets of GHS 97 million (USD 23 million) as of December 2016. Both afb and Letshego lend for