MICROFINANCE PUBLICATION ROUND-UP: Digital Financial Services Risk Assessment for Microfinance Institutions, Microinsurance Awareness in Ghana, G2P for Financial Inclusion: A Job Half Done

“Digital Financial Services Risk Assessment For Microfinance Institutions – A Pocket Guide;” by Tom Shaw, Marcella Willis, Daryl Skoog, Sonia Arenaza, Sudha Garg, Susan Salerno, Eve Hamilton and Shailee Adnolfi; published by The Digital Financial Services Working Group; September 2014; 15 pages; available at https://lextonblog.files.wordpress.com/2014/09/dfs_risk_guide_sept_2014_final.pdf

The authors of this “pocket guide”[1] argue for the importance of “Digital Financial Services (DFS)”[1] to reach low-income individuals who do not have access to traditional banking solutions.

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Illegitimate Microfinance Institution Vision Finance Fund Shut Down by Police in Uganda, $7.6K Lost By Depositors 

Vision Finance Fund, an illegitimate microfinance bank in Uganda’s Central Region, recently was shut down for accepting money from its depositors under false pretenses.

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: United Nations’ International Labour Office, World Bank Group (WBG) to Provide Index Microinsurance in Developing Countries in Africa, Asia

The International Labour Office (ILO), an agency of the United Nations
that deals with labour standards, and the World Bank Group (WBG), a
group of five multilateral organizations that invest in developing
countries, reportedly have entered into a three-year partnership with
the aim of providing index microinsurance products in Africa and Asia
through ILO’s Microinsurance Innovation Facility (MIF), which provides grants to organizations to develop microinsurance products, and WBG’s Global Index Insurance Facility (GIIF), a trust fund that supports disaster and weather index insurance markets.

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Bangko Sentral Ng Pilipinas (BSP) Increases Maximum Microinsurance Benefits for Clients in the Philippines to $11k

The Bangko Sentral Ng Pilipinas (BSP), the central bank of the Philippines, has issued Circular Number 841, which amends the Manual of Regulation for Banks, increasing mandated maximum microinsurance premiums and benefits.

MICROFINANCE PUBLICATION ROUND-UP: Microfinance “Banana Skins” Risk Assessment; Effects of Microloans from Compartamos in Mexico; Youth Financial Inclusion Video

“Microfinance Banana Skins 2014: Facing Reality;” published by Centre for the Study of Financial Innovation; July 2014; 84 pages; available athttp://csfi.org/files/Microfinance_Banana_Skins_2014_-_WEB.pdf

This report, which is based on data collected by surveying 306 people associated with the microfinance industry, examines 19 risks faced by microfinance institutions (MFIs) across the globe.

MICROFINANCE PUBLICATION ROUND-UP: Over-indebtedness in Mexico; Achieving Customer Centricity; Managing Over-indebtedness

“Over-Indebtedness in Mexico: Its Effect on Borrowers;” published by Microfinance CEO Working Group; May 2014; 32 pages; available at http://microfinanceceoworkinggroup.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/Over-Indebtedness-in-Mexico-Its-Effect-on-Borrowers-552014.pdf

This report cautions lending institutions in Mexico about rising levels of over-indebtedness – meaning more borrowers cannot reasonably repay their debts – which can threaten the financial system as well as the economic outlook of low-income individuals.

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: PlaNet Finance, China Microfinance Institution Association (CMIA) Seek to Strengthen Risk Management

PlaNet Finance, an NGO based in Paris, France, recently announced a partnership with the China Microfinance Institution Association (CMIA), a trade group of microfinance institutions (MFIs), to enhance risk management in the microfinance industry in China.

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Entrepreneurial Finance Lab Offers Microfinance Institutions (MFIs) Credit Scores for Micro-, Small Enterprises (MSEs) Based on Psychometric Tests

In an effort to promote financing to self-employed entrepreneurs and micro- and small enterprises (MSEs) in emerging economies, Entrepreneurial Finance Lab (EFL), a US-based company, is employing psychometric analyses to assess the creditworthiness of loan applicants.

OPINION: No Silver Bullet: While Microfinance Alone Won’t End Poverty, It Is Making an Impact – So Let’s Re-focus It to Serve the Poor

The debate about the contributions that microfinance is making to global poverty alleviation is an interesting one. But it’s also getting a little tedious.

We are all disappointed that microfinance has not, as the popular culture has promoted it, proven to be the “silver bullet” for poverty alleviation. If, however, we challenge ourselves to really understand (and be transparent about) the strengths and limitations of microfinance, and begin to think about it as just one part of a more comprehensive package of development services, the debate (and potential for impact) becomes much more interesting.

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: US-based Startups First Access, Cignifi Analyze Mobile Phone Usage to Measure Creditworthiness of Unbanked

A number of startup companies are employing analytical techniques based on “big data” to interpret the mobile phone usage of poor people to assess the creditworthiness of those applying for loans in developing economies.

MICROFINANCE PAPER WRAP-UP: “Using Subsidies for Inclusive Insurance: Lessons from Agriculture and Health;” by Ruth Vargas Hill, Gissele Gajate-Garrido, Caroline Phily, and Aparna Dalal; Published by International Labour Organization

“Using Subsidies for Inclusive Insurance: Lessons from Agriculture and Health;” by Ruth Vargas Hill, Gissele Gajate-Garrido, Caroline Phily, and Aparna Dalal; published by International Labour Organization; January 2014; 55 pages; available at http://www.microinsurancefacility.org/publications/mp29

This report was published by the Microinsurance Innovation Facility, a nonprofit research institution housed within the UN’s International Labour Organization (ILO) that promotes the development of insurance products and risk-mitigation markets in developing economies.

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Public Investment Corporation of South Africa Among Those Demanding Resignation of Thierry Tanoh, CEO of Togo-Based EcoBank

Mr Thierry Tanoh, the chief executive officer (CEO) of Togo-based EcoBank Transnational Incorporated (EcoBank), has been called to step down due to allegations of being “unfit to lead” the bank [1].

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: MFX Solutions, Fonds pour l’Inclusion Financière en République Démocratique Congo to Provide Technical Assistance to Banks, Microfinance Institutions (MFIs)

MFX Solutions, a US-based company that provides currency hedging solutions for microfinance institutions (MFIs) and microfinance investment vehicles (MIVs), recently announced that it has entered into a two-year technical assistance partnership with Fonds pour l’inclusion financière en république démocratique Congo, a nonprofit microlending organization in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) that is known by its English acronym FPM, in an effort to help financial institutions better manage risks.

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Indian Microfinance Institutions Trident, Bhartiya Samruddhi Finance Limited (BSFL) May Close Due to Lack of Funds

Trident Microfin Private Limited, a microfinance institution (MFI) in India, reportedly may shut down operations after being denied a loan write-down and additional funding from a forum of 21 lenders in the Indian state Andhra Pradesh.

SPECIAL REPORT: Why Microfinance Institutions Offer Unprofitable Housing Loans

On November 14, the closing day of the European Microfinance Platform’s (e-MFP’s) European Microfinance Week, Wilson Twamuhabwa, CEO of Uganda’s Ugafode Microfinance Limited, explained that his organization began to offer housing loan products partly because its clients were using 30 percent of their loans for housing anyway.

SPECIAL REPORT: Overcoming Barriers to Agricultural Microfinance

At European Microfinance Week, which is hosted by Luxembourg’s 140-member European Microfinance Platform (e-MFP), Daniela Rottger, a consultant to German development finance institution Deutsche Investitions-und Entwicklungsgesellschaft (DEG), spoke Wednesday about her study of the agricultural lending products offered by several African banks and microlenders.

SPECIAL REPORT: Women Microfinance Clients Often Save More, Are More Loyal to Lenders

At today’s session on gender at European Microfinance Week in Luxembourg, panelists eschewed the idea that lenders have a moral obligation to serve a greater proportion of women. Instead, Anne-Marie Chidzero of South Africa and Anna Gincherman of the US-based Women’s World Banking (WWB) network both argued strenuously that lenders are leaving money on the table by failing to reach out to women.