Category: Technology

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Social Performance Task Force (SPTF), CERISE Release Updated SPI4 Assessment Tool

The Social Performance Task Force (SPTF), a US-based nonprofit charged with addressing questions about measuring and managing social performance, and the France-based network CERISE (Comité d’Echanges de Réflexion et d’Information sur les Systèmes d’Epargne-crédit) recently released version 1.2 of SPI4, their assessment tool for the social performance of microfinance institutions.  Continue reading


MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: International Finance Corporation (IFC), MasterCard to Establish $250m Risk-Sharing Facility to Support Consumer Loans Distributed via Debit Card

MasterCard, a US-based payments and technology company, and the International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the US-based World Bank Group that offers financial services to businesses and governments in developing countries with the aim of increasing economic growth, reportedly have pledged to establish a USD 250 million risk-sharing facility, which is expected to provide an unspecified number of people in emerging markets with access to small loans via payment cards.  Continue reading


MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: CAF Development Bank of Latin America Links Rural Health Clinics, Remote Medical Specialists via Telemedicine in Ecuador

CAF Development Bank of Latin America, a Venezuela-based multilateral financial institution that was formerly known as the Corporacion Andina de Fomento, recently partnered with Telesalud de Venezuela, a telemedicine firm that offers health services in rural and other underserved areas in Latin America, to pilot a health microinsurance project in Ecuador. Continue reading


MICROFINANCE PUBLICATION ROUND-UP: Driving Scale, Agent Network Density in Peru; Youth Banking in the Dominican Republic; Aging, Financial Inclusion in Colombia

“Aging and Financial Inclusion: An Opportunity;” published by HelpAge International and Accion’s Center for Financial Inclusion; 2015; 40 pages; available at

This report highlights various barriers and opportunities in providing financial services to older people and helping younger people plan for old age, focusing on middle-income countries, in particular Colombia. Continue reading


MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Voyager Innovation, Cash Credit to Offer Mobile Consumer Microloans in the Philippines via Smart Communication

Voyager Innovation, a tech company wholly owned by the Philippine wireless service provider Smart Communications, is partnering with the Bulgaria-based finance company Cash Credit to provide mobile-based consumer loans to approximately 75 million Smart Communication subscribers [1]. Continue reading


MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Money Transfer Startups Bitpesa, Igot Leverage Bitcoin to Reduce Price of Remittances

Currency exchange companies such as Kenya’s BitPesa and Australia’s Igot are tapping into remittance markets such as Kenya’s, which reached a volume of USD 1.43 billion in 2014, by using Bitcoin transfers to undercut the fees charged by firms such as US-based Western Union to deliver money across national borders.  Continue reading


MICROFINANCE EVENT: Mobile Money and Digital Payments Africa Conference and Workshop, May 19-21, 2015, Johannesburg, South Africa

Event Name: Mobile Money and Digital Payments Africa

Event Date: May 19-21, 2015

Event Location: Hyatt Regency Hotel, Johannesburg, South Africa

Summary of Event: The aim of the event is to bring together sector stakeholders in an effort to strengthen mobile money payment systems and businesses in Africa. The two conference days will feature panel discussions and debates focused on developing financial services and other mobile products for un- and underbanked people, recent trends in mobile money, challenges in developing cashless payment systems in Africa and methods for leveraging social payments to improve financial service offerings for people left out of the traditional banking system. The workshop will focus on discussing strategies for retailers to gain authorization to sell mobile money and digital payment services in Europe. Continue reading


MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Laku Pandai Branchless Banking to Launch in Indonesia via Bank Central Asia, Bank Mandiri, Bank Rakyat Indonesia and Bank Tabungan Pensiunan Nasional

Four Indonesian financial institutions, Bank Central Asia (BCA), Bank Mandiri, Bank Rakyat Indonesia (BRI) and Bank Tabungan Pensiunan Nasional (BTPN), are collaborating with Otoritas Jasa Keuangan (OJK), an arm of the Indonesian government that regulates financial institutions, to launch a branchless banking program known as Laku Pandai. Continue reading


MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Microsoft, MasterCard to Provide Payment, Technology Support for Micro-Business Owners in Mexico

Microsoft Corporation, a US-based technology firm, and MasterCard, a US-based financial services corporation with operations in 210 countries, have announced a partnership through which they will seek to enhance information technology, communication and payments for small-scale merchants in Mexico. Continue reading


MICROFINANCE PUBLICATION ROUND-UP: Maize Insurance in Burkina Faso, Risks to Microfinance in Pakistan, Claims Analysis in Health Microinsurance

“Loan Protection for Maize Farmers in Burkina Faso;” by Barbara Magnoni and Danielle Sobol; published by The MicroInsurance Centre; 2014; 13 pages; available at

This paper presents the findings of a study focusing on the impact of droughts, specifically the costs to maize farmers in Burkina Faso. Continue reading


MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Nigeria’s Grooming Centre to Issue Microloans on MasterCard Pre-Paid Cards

The Grooming Centre, a nonprofit provider of loans and deposit services to women in Nigeria for micro-, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs), has partnered with MasterCard, a US-based payments company, to replace the NGO’s cash- and check-based loan disbursals with prepaid MasterCard-branded payment cards. Continue reading


MICROFINANCE EVENT: International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), World Bank to Host Global Forum on Remittances, June 16-19, 2015, Milan, Italy

Event Name: Global Forum on Remittances 2015

Event Date: June 16-19, 2015

Event Location: Centro Congressi Stella Polare Conference Centre, Milan, Italy

Summary of Event: This event is intended to promote awareness of remittances sent by migrants to their home countries. Session topics will include trends in remittances sent from Europe, best practices in regulation, opportunities for financial inclusion, competition and transaction costs, new technologies, opportunities for public-private partnerships and strategies for developing public-private partnerships to further financial inclusion.

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