Category: Technology

MICROFINANCE PUBLICATION ROUND-UP: ING’s Billion to Gain: Geographic Variations in Microfinance Impact; Indian Mobile Wallet Market Growth; Profiting From Financial Inclusion

“A Billion to Gain? Microfinance Clients Are Not Cut from the Same Cloth,” G. Hieminga, R. Budjhawan, S. Eriksen, I. Unger; published by ING Bank; November 2015; 8 pages; available at: http://www.ingcb.com/insights/research/microfinance-emancipating-the-worlds-poorest Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: India’s SKS Microfinance Seeks to Go Paperless with IBM MobileFirst Tablet System

SKS Microfinance Limited, a for-profit microfinance institution (MFI) headquartered in Hyderabad, India, recently partnered with IBM MobileFirst, the mobile division of US-based information technology company International Business Machines (IBM), in an effort to improve staff productivity in acquiring customers, completing loan disbursements and collecting repayments [1][2]. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Omidyar Network Leads Investment in eCurrency Mint to Support Technology That Enables Central Banks in Issuing Digital Currency

Omidyar Network, a US-based  investment firm, recently made an investment of undisclosed amount in eCurrency Mint (eCM), an Ireland-based company that has developed a technology that enables central banks to issue digital currency, called eCurrency. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: M-Kopa Solar Raises $19m in Private Equity Investment to Expand Pay-As-You-Go Model in East Africa

M-Kopa Solar, a Kenya-based “pay-as-you-go” solar energy supplier for homes in Africa that do not have traditional electricity connections, has raised KES 2 billion (USD 19 million) in an equity round led by London-based Generation Investment Management LLP. Continue reading

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MICROFINANCE PAPER WRAP-UP: “Payment Aspects of Financial Inclusion” Prepared for the Committee on Payments and Market Infrastructures (CPMI), World Bank Group

“Payment Aspects of Financial Inclusion,” prepared for Committee on Payments and Market Infrastructures (CPMI) and the World Bank Group, September 2015, 69 pages, available at: https://consultations.worldbank.org/consultation/payment-aspects-financial-inclusion

This report delineates the role of payment and settlement services – the mechanisms in place to facilitate electronic monetary transactions – in expanding formal financial access to people with low incomes in the developing world. Continue reading

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Written by Comments Off on MICROFINANCE PAPER WRAP-UP: “Payment Aspects of Financial Inclusion” Prepared for the Committee on Payments and Market Infrastructures (CPMI), World Bank Group Posted in Mobile Money, Technology

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Safaricom, MTN Rwanda Partner to Enable Transactions Between Kenya’s M-Pesa, MTN Mobile Money

Safaricom, a Kenya-based telecommunications company, recently has partnered with MTN Rwanda, the Rwandan branch of South Africa-based multinational telecommunications provider Mobile Telecommunications Network Group (MTN), to enable cross-border transactions. Continue reading

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Written by Comments Off on MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Safaricom, MTN Rwanda Partner to Enable Transactions Between Kenya’s M-Pesa, MTN Mobile Money Posted in Africa, Mobile Money, Technology

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Banque Internationale Pour L’Afrique Au Congo (BIAC) Launches Heyano MasterCard Prepaid Card in Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) to Promote Financial Inclusion, Transition to Formal Economy

Banque Internationale Pour L’Afrique Au Congo (BIAC), a commercial bank in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), and MasterCard, a US-based payments and technology company, recently launched a prepaid card called Heyano [1]. Continue reading

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Written by Comments Off on MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Banque Internationale Pour L’Afrique Au Congo (BIAC) Launches Heyano MasterCard Prepaid Card in Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) to Promote Financial Inclusion, Transition to Formal Economy Posted in Africa, Deals, Mobile Money, 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

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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

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: FINCA International to Offer Microfinance Services to Fund Off-Grid Solar Systems in Africa

The Foundation for International Community Assistance (FINCA International), a US-based nonprofit microfinance network, has announced that it will offer microfinance services to fund “off-grid solar systems”[1] in Africa. Continue reading

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Written by Comments Off on MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: FINCA International to Offer Microfinance Services to Fund Off-Grid Solar Systems in Africa Posted in Africa, Technology

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

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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

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Written by Comments Off on MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Fidelity Information Services (FIS) Launches “Banking on Demand” Management Information System in India, Targeting Microfinance Institutions (MFIs), Other Small Financial Services Companies Posted in South Asia, East Asia and Pacific, Technology

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Fidelity Information Services (FIS) Establishes Financial Inclusion Lab in India to Promote Entrepreneurship, Financial Literacy, Access to Financial Services

Fidelity Information Services (FIS), a US-based banking and payment technology provider, has established a Financial Inclusion Lab in Bengaluru, India. Continue reading

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Written by Comments Off on MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Fidelity Information Services (FIS) Establishes Financial Inclusion Lab in India to Promote Entrepreneurship, Financial Literacy, Access to Financial Services Posted in South Asia, East Asia and Pacific, Technology

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

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Written by Comments Off on MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: South Africa’s Jumo Launches Microcredit Borrower Assessment Technology Based on Mobile Telephone Usage Data Posted in Africa, Technology

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: http://www.cgap.org/publications/doing-digital-finance-right

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

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Written by Comments Off on MICROFINANCE PAPER WRAP-UP: “Doing Digital Finance Right: The Case for Stronger Mitigation of Customer Risks” Posted in Mobile Money, Technology

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

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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

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Written by Comments Off on 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 Posted in South Asia, East Asia and Pacific, Technology