MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Egyptian Mobile Payment Platform Fawry Sells Equity Stake to Private Equity Firm Managed by responsAbility

An entity managed by Switzerland’s responsAbility Investments recently purchased a stake of undisclosed size and price in Fawry, a mobile payments platform in Egypt. Fawry has 20 million customers, whom it enables to pay bills and make retail purchases via mobile phones, credit cards, automatic teller machines, accounts at 23 banks, and point-of-sale machines at 65,000

MICROFINANCE EVENT: The Microfinance Centre’s (MFC’s) Alternative Finance Forum; October 5, 2017; Warsaw, Poland

Event Name: Alternative Finance Forum

Event Location: Copernicus Conference Centre; Warsaw, Poland

Summary of Event: This forum aims to “introduce new forms of financial services” while covering topics including equity-based crowdfunding, social impact bonds, online lenders to small businesses and peer-to-peer lending platforms. The event has support from the European Union and its European Investment Bank Institute.

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: UK-based Humaniq Harnesses Blockchain, Biometrics To Launch Mobile Money Service in Ghana, Asia, South America

Humaniq, a London-based technology company, recently announced the launch of its “blockchain-powered financial inclusion app,” which allows users to send and receive money. Humaniq has

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: CGAP Accepting 2017 Photo Contest Entries Through September 29

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.

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: SoftBank Pays $1.4b for 20% Equity Stake in Paytm, Provider of Digital Payment Services in India

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.

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Vodacom Paying $2.6b to Its Majority Shareholder, Vodafone, for 35% Equity Stake in Owner of Kenya’s M-Pesa Mobile Money Service, Safaricom

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.

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: SureBüddy, Provider of Free Funeral and Handset Insurance, Expands to Uganda

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.

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Apply by June 5 for The MasterCard Foundation’s $150k “Clients at the Centre” Prize

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.

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Ant Financial, Emtek to Launch Mobile Payment Service in Indonesia

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)

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Ant Financial, Ayala Buy Equity Stakes in Globe’s Mynt, Operator of the Philippines’ GCash, Fuse Lending

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

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: World Bank Providing $130m for Financial Inclusion Effort in Pakistan

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

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Senegal’s Banque Régionale de Marché to Launch “eCFA”  Digital Currency

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

MICROFINANCE PUBLICATION ROUND-UP: Alternative Financing in Africa, Middle East; Interoperability of Digital Financial Systems; Financial Inclusion in Kerala, India

“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.

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Mastercard, Unilever to Launch Partnership to Facilitate Growth of Micro-, Small, Medium-sized Enterprises (MSMEs) with Pilot Project in Kenya

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

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Tigo Rwanda Launches TigoNshoboza Mobile Microloans on Pilot Basis

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

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: After Launch in Tanzania, Ecobank Mobile App Available in 33 African Countries

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.