Category: Technology

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Babyloan, Total Partner to Develop Crowdfunding Platform to Offer Microfinance for Solar Energy Equipment in Africa, Asia, Latin America

Babyloan, a French online microfinance intermediary that works in both developed and developing countries, and Total, a French energy company, recently announced plans to develop a joint crowdfunding platform that will seek to “accelerate access to energy” in Africa, Asia and Latin America. Continue reading


SPECIAL REPORT: Good News, “Painful” News About Digital Finance at the Final Day of European Microfinance Week

European Microfinance WeekIn moderating Friday’s panel on “Integrating digital financial services” at European Microfinance Week, Philippe Breul of PHB Development opened with several examples of success: (1) Microfinance institution (MFI) Musoni Kenya reducing loan turnaround time from 72 to 6 hours; (2) Indian MFI Ujjivan boosting loan officers’ caseloads by 134 percent; and (3) Opportunity Bank Serbia, which operates in an area of better mobile connectivity than the other two MFIs, providing immediate credit decisions in response to 80 percent of loan applications. Mr Breul stated that the time period required to save enough on costs to offset the expense of the tablets and other elements of digital systems can be as low as Continue reading


MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: European Commission (EC) Launches EaSI-MicPro, a New Online Information on Microcredit Providers

The European Commission (EC), the executive body of the European Union (EU), recently launched EaSI-MicPro, a new online platform where microcredit providers can present information about their operations. Continue reading


MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Fidelity Information Services (FIS) Launches “Banking on Demand” Management Information System in India, Targeting Microfinance Institutions (MFIs), Other Small Financial Services Companies

Fidelity Information Services (FIS), a US-based banking and payment technology provider, has launched “Banking on Demand,”[1] a service that uses “shared technology infrastructure”[1] to allow financial services companies to manage their operations without establishing their own banking infrastructure. Continue reading


MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: South Africa’s Jumo Launches Microcredit Borrower Assessment Technology Based on Mobile Telephone Usage Data

Jumo, the microfinance unit and “mobile money marketplace”[2] of AFB, a financial services company based in Cape Town, South Africa, recently launched a new borrower assessment service in Ghana, Kenya, Mauritius, Rwanda, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia. Continue reading


MICROFINANCE PAPER WRAP-UP: “Doing Digital Finance Right: The Case for Stronger Mitigation of Customer Risks”

“Doing Digital Finance Right: The Case for Stronger Mitigation of Customer Risks;” by Katherine McKee, Michelle Kaffenberger, Jamie Zimmerman; published by CGAP (Consultative Group to Assist the Poor); June 2015; 40 pages; available at:

Digital financial services (DFS), which allow the use of cellular devices to make and receive payments without travelling to a brick-and-mortar bank branch, are believed by some to be a pathway toward financial inclusion for low-income people. Continue reading


MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Private Equity Fund, Apis Partners, Raises $157m for Financial Technology Startups in Africa, South Asia

Apis Partners, a London-based private equity firm, has raised USD 157 million in investments for the Apis Growth Fund that it launched in 2014 to target technology firms working in payments, savings, investments, credit and insurance in Africa and South Asia. Continue reading


MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Qualcomm, Project Concern International (PCI) India, Microware Computing & Consulting Partner to Offer 3G-based Mobile Microfinance Technology for Microfinance Institution Planned Social Concern

Qualcomm, a US-based semiconductor and telecommunications company, recently announced a collaboration with Project Concern International (PCI) India, a New Delhi-based branch of the US-based non-governmental organization PCI; Planned Social Concern (PSC), a microfinance institution (MFI) based in Jaipur, India; and Microware Computing & Consulting, an Indian telecommunications and software company. Continue reading


MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Housing Development Finance Corporation (HDFC) Bank Introduces Micro Automatic Teller Machines (ATMs) with Fingerprint Identification to Increase Access to Banking in Rural India

The Housing Development Finance Corporation (HDFC) Bank, an Indian financial services company, reportedly has introduced micro automatic teller machines (ATMs) in rural India to improve access to banking services in underserved areas of the country. Continue reading


MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Tanzania’s National Microfinance Bank Launches MasterCard Debit Cards

Tanzania’s National Microfinance Bank (NMB) recently launched a range of debit cards including Tanzanite, targeting the mass market; Titanium, targeting the middle class; and World Rewards, targeting affluent customers. These debit cards are branded by MasterCard, a New York-based payments and technology company. As per Ineke Bussemaker, the managing director of NMB, the debit cards were launched to cater to the “evolving needs” of the bank’s customers who were “increasingly seeking faster, more secure and smarter ways to pay.” Continue reading


MICROFINANCE PUBLICATION ROUND-UP: Mobile Finance Implementation; Alternative Delivery Channels and Technology; “Market Insights for Innovations and Design” (MI4ID) Behavioral Research

“Expanding Access to Finance Through Mobile Payments;” published by the Foundation for International Community Assistance (FINCA) International and The MasterCard Foundation; June 2015; 12 pages; available at

This case study offers suggestions for microfinance institutions (MFIs) implementing mobile technology. Continue reading


MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: MetLife Foundation Donates $1.8m to Opportunity International to Support Financial Access through Microfinance, Education in Rural China

MetLife Foundation, an affiliate of the Chicago-based insurance company MetLife, recently announced the disbursement of USD 1.8 million in grant funding to Opportunity International, a microfinance NGO also based in the US city of Chicago, to support its outreach via bank branches and mobile vans in rural China.  Continue reading


MICROFINANCE EVENT: East Africa Microfinance Summit 2015: “Microfinance Enhancing Lives through Innovations,” August 17-19, 2015, Nairobi, Kenya

Event Name: East Africa Microfinance Summit 2015

Event Date: August 17-19, 2015

Event Location: Kenyatta International Convention Center, Nairobi, Kenya

Summary of Event: The theme of this conference is “Microfinance Enhancing Lives through Innovations,” and the event will focus on topics including: (1) the impact of mobile banking and agent-based banking for promoting financial inclusion; (2) the role of regulation in encouraging innovation; (3) the benefits of credit information sharing; (4) the role of youth and women in advancing social and economic development; (5) microfinance and socially-responsible enterprise; and (6) developments and trends observed in the East African microfinance industry over the past year.  Continue reading


MICROFINANCE EVENT: Cracking the Nut Conference, “Regenerating Rural & Agricultural Development,” March 1-2, 2016, Washington, DC, USA

Event Name: Cracking the Nut Conference 2016

Event Date: March 1 – 2, 2015

Event Location: Enrique V. Iglesias Conference Center, Washington, DC, USA

Event Summary: Cracking the Nut 2016 will focus on three topics: (1) developing methods to incentivize small farmers to adopt “sustainable” farming practices and regenerating rural and agricultural landscapes by restoring deforested areas and depleted soils; (2) financing environmentally sustainable development; and (3) promoting investment in environmentally friendly agriculture.  Continue reading


MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Good World Solutions Uses Mobile Surveys to Promote Microfinance Client Protection

Good World Solutions (GWS), a US-based nonprofit organization that develops anonymous tools for people to report on how companies treat them, has built a mobile-based interactive voice response survey service to gather information from microfinance borrowers in India to determine whether microfinance institutions (MFIs) are following the client protection principles of the US-based Smart Campaign.  Continue reading