Category: Technology

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Mobile Telecommunications Network (MTN) Rwanda, Kenya Commercial Bank Group (KCB), Kenya’s I&M Bank, Rwanda’s RSwitch to Offer Cardless ATM Banking Services in Rwanda

Mobile Telecommunications Network (MTN) Rwanda, the Rwandan branch of South Africa-based mobile telecommunications company MTN reportedly has announced a partnership with Kenya Commercial Bank Group (KCB) and I&M Bank, which both offer corporate and retail banking services in Kenya, and RSwitch, an electronic payment service firm based in Rwanda, to offer cardless automated teller machine (ATM) services in Rwanda. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Gate Global Impact, RocketHub, United Nations, US State Department to Launch Crowdfunding Projects in Effort to Improve Access to Finance in Developing Countries

Gate Global Impact and RocketHub, US-based organizations that “crowdfund” small amounts of money online from large numbers of people, have developed partnerships with the United Nations Global Compact, a policy initiative aligning businesses committed to operating in accordance with UN human rights standards, and the US State Department, which manages the United States’ international relations and policy. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: India-based Ujjivan Financial Services Disburses Loans Totaling $166m Via Direct Deposit to Bank Accounts

Ujjivan Financial Services, a Bangalore-based microfinance institution, has disbursed local currency loans totaling the equivalent of USD 166 million, approximately 50 percent of its total loan disbursements this year, directly to customer’s bank accounts. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Homeless International Purchases T24 MCB Banking Software from Temenos

Homeless International, a UK-based nonprofit housing consultancy and finance agency that focuses on reducing urban poverty in Africa and Asia, has purchased T24 MCB, a cloud-based core banking software platform that was developed for the microfinance and community banking (MCB) segment by Temenos Group AG, a software company based in Switzerland. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: JPMorgan Chase Commits $30m to “Financial Solutions Lab”

JP Morgan Chase, a US-based investment and banking firm, reportedly has committed USD 30 million for the establishment of a “Financial Solutions Lab.” The lab will be created as a five-year project with the Center for Financial Services Innovation, a US-based nonprofit consultancy specializing in serving unbanked and underbanked consumers. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Bank of Punjab, MasterCard Launch Electronic Government-To-Person Social Security Payment System in Pakistan

The Bank of Punjab, which is owned by the government of the Pakistani province of Punjab, and MasterCard Incorporated, a US-based payments and technology company with operations in 210 countries and territories, recently announced a “Social Security Program” to convert government assistance to individuals to electronic payments. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Bank Indonesia Revises Electronic Money Policy, Allows Banks with $2b in Core Capital to Offer “Digital Financial Services” Via Agents

Bank Indonesia (BI), the central bank of Indonesia, reportedly has amended its electronic money regulations to allow all banks with at least IDR 30 trillion (USD 2.6 billion) in core capital to offer “digital financial services” to customers including the option for third-party agents to provide access to services in rural areas on behalf of the banks. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Gambia Women’s Finance Association Adopts Towerplane Software to Enable Doorstep Microfinance

The Gambia Women’s Finance Association (GAWFA), a nonprofit organization in Gambia with approximately 49,000 members, reportedly has adopted software developed by Towerplane, a Spanish software company, that allows the microfinance institution to provide services outside of bank branches using mobile devices. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Chinese Unit of Opportunity International (OI) Buys Mambu Cloud Banking Software to Support Lending to Small, Medium-Sized Enterprises (SMEs)

Opportunity International (OI), a US-based nonprofit providing microfinance in 22 countries, has selected Mambu, a German firm offering a cloud-based banking platform, to provide banking software for OI’s lending to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in China. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Uruguayan Financial Inclusion Law Mandates Government Payments be Made Electronically, Gives Tax Brake to Cash-less Transactions

The Uruguayan Parliament reportedly has announced the approval of a new financial inclusion law that mandates that workers and retired people must start receiving their paychecks and work benefits through bank accounts or electronic money services within four years. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Vodafone, ICICI Bank of India Launch Mobile Payments of Government Health Care Subsidies via M-Pesa

Vodafone Group Private Limited Corporation, a British mobile network operator, and ICICI Bank, a commercial bank in India, reportedly have launched a pilot service to deliver subsidies to individuals via M-Pesa, a mobile-money system developed by Vodafone from Janani Suraksha Yojna, a government scheme to decrease neo-natal and maternal deaths by providing delivery and post-delivery care. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Acumen Fund, Adolf H Lundin Charitable Foundation Invest $1.5m in Farmer Information Service Esoko Networks of Ghana to Expand into East Africa

The Acumen Fund, a New York-based nonprofit venture fund, and the Adolf H Lundin Charitable Foundation, a Liechtenstein-based nonprofit organization, have invested an aggregate sum of USD 1.5 million in an unspecified combination of equity and debt in Esoko Networks Limited (Esoko) of Ghana, a technology platform that aims to strengthen the connection between farmers and markets in Africa with the use of mobile phones. Continue reading

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MICROFINANCE PUBLICATION ROUND-UP: Over-indebtedness in Mexico; Achieving Customer Centricity; Managing Over-indebtedness

“Over-Indebtedness in Mexico: Its Effect on Borrowers;” published by Microfinance CEO Working Group; May 2014; 32 pages; available at http://microfinanceceoworkinggroup.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/Over-Indebtedness-in-Mexico-Its-Effect-on-Borrowers-552014.pdf

This report cautions lending institutions in Mexico about rising levels of over-indebtedness – meaning more borrowers cannot reasonably repay their debts – which can threaten the financial system as well as the economic outlook of low-income individuals. Continue reading

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