Category: Technology

MICROFINANCE EVENT: Social Performance Task Force (SPTF) Annual Meeting; June 6 – 8, 2017, Mexico City, Mexico

Event Name: Social Performance Task Force 2017 Annual Meeting

Event Date: June 6 – June 8, 2017

Event Location: Mexico City, Mexico

Summary of Event: This meeting will include plenary speeches, working group meetings and networking sessions relating to financial inclusion regulation, social outcomes data collection, and analysis and advances in “client-centric” technology [2]. The event will begin with an introductory session on the Universal Standards for Social Performance Management (SPM) and the resources available to financial service providers for measuring and improving their social performance. This is the first time this event is taking place in Latin America since 2013. Continue reading


MICROFINANCE EVENT: Dot Finance Africa Presents Its Second Fintech Conference on May 17 – 18, 2017 in Kigali, Rwanda

Event Name: Dot Finance Africa

Event Date: May 17 – May 18, 2017

Event Location: Kigali, Rwanda

Summary of Event: This event will include speeches and discussions on financial technology (fintech) topics including artificial intelligence, blockchain databases, client protection, collaboration, Continue reading


MICROFINANCE EVENT: 5th European Research Conference on Microfinance; June 12 – 14, 2017; Portsmouth, UK

Event Name: 5th European Research Conference on Microfinance

Event Date: June 12 – June 14, 2017

Event Location: Portsmouth, United Kingdom Continue reading


MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Tala Raises $30m in Series B Equity from IVP, Ribbit Capital, Existing Investors to Expand Mobile Phone Microlending in Asia, Latin America

Tala, a US-based microlender serving East Africa and Southeast Asia via mobile phone apps, recently raised USD 30 million through its Series B equity round in order to expand its services into South Asia and Latin America. Tala provides loans between USD 10 Continue reading


MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: NpM, Rabobank, FMO Promote Satellite Data to Help Farmers Improve Yields, Access Finance

The NpM Platform for Inclusive Finance, formerly known as the Netherlands Platform for Microfinance, and the Rabobank Foundation, an affiliate of the Dutch cooperative Rabobank, recently launched an effort called “Geodata for Inclusive Finance and Food Security.” The goal is to encourage the use of satellite data to improve agricultural yields, for example by Continue reading


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

This report focuses on assessing the types and prevalence of alternative financing in Africa and the Middle East. Continue reading


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 Continue reading


MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Palestine Monetary Authority Puts Credit Reports Online for Microfinance Institutions, Banks

The Palestine Monetary Authority (PMA), with assistance from Ramallah-based Al-Andalus Software Development, recently released a “credit reports handling system” that allows financial institutions to access to individual’s credit histories electronically. Previously, credit report requests had to be filed in person Continue reading


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 Continue reading


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. Continue reading


MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Accion Venture Lab Sells Equity Stake in Clip, Provider of Payment-card Readers to Retailers in Mexico

Accion Venture Lab, an investment vehicle of US-based NGO Accion, recently sold its stake in Clip, a company that provides Mexican businesses devices that plug in to smartphones, allowing them to accept payments via credit and debit cards. Clip, which has offices in the US and Mexico Continue reading


MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Thailand’s Group Lease Acquires 30% Equity Stake in Sri Lanka’s Commercial Credit and Finance (CCF) for $70m

Group Lease Public Company Limited, which is listed on the Thailand Stock Exchange, recently acquired a 29.99-percent stake in Commercial Credit and Finance (CCF), which is traded on Sri Lanka’s Colombo Stock Exchange, for LKR 10.6 billion (USD 70 million). Continue reading


MICROFINANCE PUBLICATION ROUND-UP: Impact of M-Pesa Mobile Money; Microinsurance in Sri Lanka; Women’s Financial Diaries in India, Kenya, Mexico

“The Long-run Poverty and Gender Impacts of Mobile Money”; by Tavneet Suri and William Jack; published in Science; December 8, 2016, 4 pages; available at

This article reviews a study that assessed the impact of the M-Pesa mobile payment service in Kenya. Continue reading


MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: AYo Offers Free Mobile Health, Life Insurance to MTN Phone Subscribers in Uganda: “Recharge with Care” & “Send with Care”

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


MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: FMO, IFC Invest $16m in Equity in Mobisol to Finance Solar Power in Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania

Nederlandse Financierings-Maatschappij voor Ontwikkelingslanden (FMO), a Dutch development bank, recently announced that is placing equity investments totaling EUR 9.2 million (USD 9.9 million) in Mobisol, a Germany-based provider of solar home systems in East Africa. The investments are funded by two entities FMO manages in partnership with the Dutch government: MASSIF and the Access to Energy Fund. These investments were accompanied by an equity placement of EUR 5.4 million (USD 5.8 million) by Continue reading


MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: IFC to Advise FINCA DRC on Boosting Access to Credit, Mobile Banking in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, with Funding from The MasterCard Foundation

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


MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Solar Financier PEG Africa Offers Customers in Ghana Free Hospitalization Insurance via Bima

PEG Africa, which offers “rent-to-own” financing for solar products in Cote d’Ivoire and Ghana, recently arranged to offer select customers no-cost insurance cover via Bima, a microinsurance service of Sweden’s Milvik. The rollout across Ghana follows a pilot project that served 2,000 families. PEG will enroll customers that meet certain criteria relating to loyalty and timeliness of repayment. The insurnace will pay out for Continue reading


MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Jumo Sells Microenterprise, Consumer Lender afb Ghana to Letshego

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