Category: Technology

SPECIAL REPORT: Financing the Excluded: Innovations for Last Mile Financing in the Mekong

Organizations Banking With the Poor Networkserving people at the “bottom of the pyramid” are using solar lighting, doorstep savings services and mobile banking to reach potential customers still untouched by formal financial services. Gaurav Bhandari, Greenlight Planet‘s Senior Global Partnerships Manager for Asia, described his firm’s products, which he reports have prevented 10,000 house fires, increased homeworkers’ productivity by Continue reading

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MICROFINANCE EVENT: China International Microfinance Summit, November 29-December 1, 2016, Beijing, China

Event Name: 2016 China International Microfinance Summit

Event Date: November 29 – December 1, 2016

Event Location: Landmark Towers Hotel, Beijing, China Continue reading

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SPECIAL REPORT: Digital Financial Services: Providing a “Ladder” Out of Poverty or Creating “Financial Exclusion”?

At European Microfinance PlatformFriday’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

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SPECIAL REPORT: Overcoming Fears at European Microfinance Week: Farmers Eschew Microinsurance to Prevent Drought, MFIs Wary of Group Technology Purchases

At yesterday’s meeting of the European Microfinance Platform’s (e-MFP’s) Digital Innovations for Financial Empowerment Action Group, a wide range of presenters described their challenges and successes in implementing financial technologies. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Tigo; UNICEF; Tanzania’s Registration, Insolvency and Trusteeship Agency to Provide Mobile Birth Registration for 200k Children in Iringa, Njombe Regions

Tigo Tanzania, a brand of Swedish telecom provider Millicom, recently announced that it will expand its partnership with the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the government of Tanzania’s Registration, Insolvency and Trusteeship Agency (RITA) to register and provide birth certificates to an estimated 200,000 children under the age of five in the Iringa and Njombe regions. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Commercial Bank of Ethiopia Engaging Homesend to Launch Remittance Service for All Mobile Phone Users in the Country

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

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Infoteria, Tech Bureau Transfer Myanmar-based BC Finance’s Microfinance Data to Private Blockchain

Two Japanese firms, Infoteria Corporation, which specialises in the development of extensible markup language (XML) software, and Tech Bureau Corporation, which operates a bitcoin exchange platform, recently announced that they have transferred loan and deposit account information from BC Finance, a microfinance institution based in Myanmar that is wholly owned by Bagan Capital, to a private blockchain database. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: MyBucks Launches Mobile App Offering “Nano-loans” in Kenya

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

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MICROFINANCE EVENT: Pan-African SME Finance Summit POSTPONED

Event Name: First Pan-African Small and Medium-Sized Enterprise (SME) Finance Summit: Accelerating Performance Through Innovation

Event Date: FORMERLY SCHEDULED FOR November 22 – November 23, 2016 NEW DATES AND LOCATION TO BE ANNOUNCED

Event Location: FORMERLY SCHEDULED FOR Radisson Blu Hotel, Elgon Road, Nairobi, Kenya NEW DATES AND LOCATION TO BE ANNOUNCED Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Nepalese Microfinance Institutions Invest in Nepal Finsoft to Develop MIS Software

A group of Nepalese microfinance organizations is investing in Nepal Finsoft Limited, an information technology (IT) company based in Kathmandu, to develop a banking management information system (MIS) the thirty-four institutions hope will provide them with “increased efficiency and capacity to serve clients [and] lower overall costs of the infrastructure shared by all participating financial institutions.”
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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: CGAP, Citi Foundation Launch Digital Financial Inclusion Policy Program in China, Indonesia, Philippines

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

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Bangladeshi Farmers to Receive Microloans via Credit Cards Arranged by CARE Bangladesh, DAM, mPower, USAID

The Agricultural Extension Support Activity (AESA) of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), which is implemented by the Bangladesh-based nonprofit Dhaka Ahsania Mission (DAM), is piloting an initiative to provide smallholder farmers with loans via bank cards. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: GSMA Facilitates Launch of Interoperable Mobile Money Services in Madagascar

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.

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Verdant Capital Arranges $3m Revolving Credit Facility for Zambia’s Pan African Building Society (PABS)

Verdant Capital, a corporate finance firm serving Africa, recently informed MicroCapital that it has arranged a revolving credit facility in the amount of USD 3 million for the Pan African Building Society (PABS), a deposit-taking, non-banking financial institution operating in Zambia. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Microfinance Institutions Adie, microStart, Taysir Launch Free Online Training for Microentrepreneurs

Microfinance institutions (MFIs) Adie, which offers financial services and related training in France; microStart, which works with small businesses in Belgium; and Taysir, which funds microenterprises and small-scale farms in Tunisia, recently launched an online training platform for microentrepreneurs and small-business owners. Continue reading

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MICROFINANCE PUBLICATION ROUND-UP: Role of Impact Investing in Achieving UN Sustainable Development Goals; Microfinance Investment Vehicle Survey; Lessons from Tanzania’s Digitization Efforts

“Achieving The Sustainable Development Goals: The Role of Impact Investing;” published by The Global Impact Investing Network; September 12, 2016; 9 pages; available at https://thegiin.org/knowledge/publication/sdgs-impinv

This report profiles impact investors that have leveraged the United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for the following purposes: (1) as a framework to communicate their social impact goals; (2) to develop new or realign existing investment strategies and; (3) to attract capital from private investors that are new to impact investing. Continue reading

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MICROFINANCE PAPER WRAP-UP: 2016 Brookings Financial and Digital Inclusion Project Report; by John Villasenor, Darrell West, Robin Lewis

“The 2016 Brookings Financial and Digital Inclusion Project Report Advancing Equitable Financial Ecosystems;” by John D. Villasenor, Darrell M. West and Robin J. Lewis; published by the Center for Technology Innovation at the Brookings Institution; August 2016; 146 pages; Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Australian Government, ANZ Bank, PFIP to Connect Solomon Islands’ Coconut Farmers to Mobile Banking

The Australian government; the Australia and New Zealand (ANZ) Bank, a publicly traded commercial bank; and the Pacific Financial Inclusion Program (PFIP), a Fiji-based initiative of the United Nations that attempts to extend financial services to unbanked Pacific Islanders, recently started a program with a budget of SBD 5 million (USD 650,000) to connect rural coconut oil producers, laborers, buyers and transport operators in the Solomon Islands with digital financial services. Continue reading

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