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 Continue reading →
“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. Continue reading →
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 Continue reading →
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 Continue reading →
Event Name: Mobile Insurance Conference, presented by the Association of Insurance Supervisors (IAIS), the Access to Insurance Initiative (A2ii) and the Inter-African Conference on Insurance Markets (CIMA)
Event Date: February 23 – 24, 2017
Event Location: Douala, Cameroon
Summary of Event: This event will address trends in mobile insurance and related technologies, as well as risks and regulations associated with the sector. It is targeted Continue reading →
The Central Bank of Jordan recently announced a strategy to increase financial inclusion in the country during the years 2018 through 2020. The document calls for increased financial education, client protection and Continue reading →
WorldRemit, a UK-based online money transfer service, recently announced that it will partner with Mobile Telecommunications Network Group (MTN), a South Africa-based telecommunications provider; Express Union, a Cameroon-based financial services firm; and Banque Atlantique, a Togo-based retail bank, to offer digital remittance services in Cameroon. Continue reading →
Event Name: Digital Financial Services: Are We Realising Their Full Potential?
Event Date: January 19, 2017
Event Location: Citigroup Centre, 33 Canada Square, Canary Wharf, London, UK
Cost: There is no registration fee, but in order to attend you must purchase a membership to the Financial Inclusion Forum unless it is your first time at one of the organization’s events.
Summary of Event: This event will address concerns regarding digital financial services and how to move beyond the focus on payments to increase the availability and usage of savings, credit and insurance. Continue reading →
At Friday’s closing session of European Microfinance Week, representatives of Luxembourg-based MyBucks, US-based Opportunity International and India-based MicroSave argued about the risks and rewards of digital finance services. Vicki Escarra, the CEO of Opportunity International, said, “What we’ve done over the past five years to get to very rural areas is to use these digital channels.… To focus on women in Africa – not just women, but women living in Continue reading →
Paul Luchtenburg, who serves as coordinator for the UN Capital Development Fund in Myanmar, described several of the contrasts in the microfinance industry in Myanmar at European Microfinance Week Thursday. Five years into civilian rule, Mr Luchtenburg says “I’ve never seen a government work so hard. You go to a meeting and the results go up the leadership chain that night…. There’s this rapid push for development.” To accept deposits, institutions must pay at least 10 percent per year and be deemed “sustainable” by the government. However, lending rates are capped at 2.5 percent per month, a level that all of the panelists agreed was too low, especially for serving rural areas. Rommel Caringal, the CEO of the local unit of US-based VisionFund, said, “The inconsistency is causing big problems, but Continue reading →
HomeSend, a software platform facilitating remittance transactions, and the government-backed Commercial Bank of Ethiopia (CBE) recently announced the intention to launch remittance services in Ethiopia by the end of 2016. Continue reading →
GetBucks Kenya, a division of Luxembourg-based financial technology company MyBucks, recently announced the launch of its “Haraka” app, through which it will enable users in Kenya to take out “nano-loans” of EUR 4 (USD 4.30) to EUR 40 (USD 43) via mobile phones. Continue reading →
CGAP (Consultative Group to Assist the Poor), a US-based, nonprofit research center that aims to facilitate the expansion of financial access, and the Citi Foundation, the charitable arm of US-based financial services firm Citigroup, recently launched the “East Asia Digital Financial Inclusion Program”. Continue reading →
JazzCash, a mobile money service of Pakistan-based cellular phone network Mobilink, and Visa, a US-based payment technology company, recently announced that JazzCash Mobile Account customers will be able to make purchases from the millions of merchants worldwide that accept Visa payment cards, including approximately 50,000 retail outlets in Pakistan. Continue reading →
The Groupe Special Mobile Association (GSMA), a membership organization of 800 telecoms operating under the Global System for Mobile Communications (GSM) standard, recently announced that all of the mobile operators present in Madagascar- Airtel Money, mVola and Orange Money- will make their services interoperable across the country.