Category: Technology

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Technology Provider Orange Offering $80k Via 2014 African Social Venture Prizes, Partner Award

French telephone and internet service provider Orange is accepting applications for its 2014 African Social Venture Prizes and the Partner Award through September 19, 2014, via Orange’s “pan-African web portal,”[1], http://www.starafrica.com. 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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Written by Comments Off on 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 Posted in Africa, Deals, Technology

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Cable and Wireless Panama (CWP) Introduces “Movilcash” Mobile Money Service

Cable and Wireless Panama (CWP), a subsidiary of London-based Cable and Wireless Communications (CWC), reportedly has unveiled “Movilcash,” a new mobile money service that will allow customers to transfer money and make purchases from their mobile devices. 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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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Grameen Foundation Anticipating $1m in Donations to Last Mile Initiative for Latin America

The Grameen Foundation, a US-based nonprofit organization, recently announced that it is anticipating donations to its Last Mile Initiative totaling USD 1 million after receiving a USD 500,000 donation from David and Susan Russell, which must be matched with an equal amount of funds from other sources. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Mambu Sells Software to Nigeria’s One Credit, Premier Kenya, Angola’s Mão Solidária Microfinança

One Credit, a consumer finance company based in Nigeria; Premier Kenya, a financial services provider based in Kenya; and Mão Solidária Microfinança, a microfinance institution based in Angola, recently became customers of Mambu, a provider of web-based software designed for microfinance institutions. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Russian Payday Lender Bistrodengi Selects Diasoft’s Flextera Banking Software

Bistrodengi, a Russian payday lender that offers payday loans of RUB 1,000 to RUB 16,000 (USD 28 to USD 453) for periods of seven to 16 days, recently selected Flextera Loans, a core banking solution from Diasoft, to support its lending and accounting operations. Diasoft’s software is used by approximately 340 financial institutions worldwide. The company is headquartered in Russia, and it also has offices in China, Cyprus, Ukraine and the United Kingdom. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Yes Bank’s Sampann, Housing Development Finance Corporation (HDFC) Bank Use “Doorstep” Banking in Rural India

Two private commercial banks based in the Indian city of Mumbai, Yes Bank and the Housing Development Finance Corporation (HDFC) Bank, reportedly have started using “doorstep” banking in rural India to reach more customers by offering services such as credit, savings and insurance at customers’ homes. Continue reading

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MICROFINANCE PUBLICATION ROUND-UP: Mobile Money Agents in Uganda; Sustainable Microfinance; Mobile Money for the Global Unbanked

“Agent Network Accelerator Survey: Uganda Country Report 2013;” published by Helix Institute of Digital Finance; January 2014; 26 pages; available at http://www.helix-institute.com/data-and-insights/agent-network-accelerator-survey-%E2%80%93-uganda-country-report-2013-0

This document presents the results of a study conducted by the US-based nonprofit Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and India-based for-profit consultancy MicroSave that seeks to identify the challenges, trends and successes of the mobile money market in Uganda by surveying 2,000 agents. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Facebook Seeks Regulatory Approval from Central Bank of Ireland to Provide Remittances, Mobile Money Throughout European Union

Facebook, a US-based social networking company, reportedly is waiting for approval of its application to the Central Bank of Ireland to become an “e-money” institution, which would allow it to provide remittances and mobile money services throughout Europe through a structure known as “passporting”[2]. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Kenya Grants Mobile Money Licenses to Finserve Africa, Tangaza Mobile Pay, Zioncell Kenya

The Communications Commission of Kenya (CCK), the regulatory authority for the telecommunications sector of the country, recently granted mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) licenses to Finserve Africa Limited, a subsidiary of Kenya’s Equity Bank, and two Kenyan mobile money transfer services, Tangaza Mobile Pay Limited and Zioncell Kenya Limited. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Econet of Zimbabwe to Offer Microloans for Entrepreneurs in Informal Sector

Econet Wireless Zimbabwe, a mobile services provider that is a subsidiary of South Africa-based Econet Wireless Group, recently announced that it will launch a microloan program to target entrepreneurs in the informal sector in Zimbabwe. Continue reading

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Written by Comments Off on MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Econet of Zimbabwe to Offer Microloans for Entrepreneurs in Informal Sector Posted in Africa, Technology

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: China Commercial Credit Launches Online Loan Portal “Pride Lending Group”

China Commercial Credit, a microcredit company based in the Chinese city of Suzhou, recently announced that it has launched an online lending portal called Pride Lending Club. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Airtel, MTN Group Partner to Provide Mobile Money Transfers Between Burkina Faso, Ivory Coast

Airtel Burkina Faso, a subsidiary of India-based telecommunications company Bharti Airtel, and Mobile Telecommunication Network (MTN) Group, a telecommunications company based in South Africa, recently announced a partnership that will allow their mobile money customers to transfer funds between Burkina Faso and the Ivory Coast. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Citi Replicates Mobile Collect Fund Transfer Service in China, India

Citi Asia, a subsidiary of US-based bank Citigroup in Asia, recently launched Citi Mobile Collect, a mobile payment platform that enables customers to complete fund transfers via mobile phones, in China and India. Continue reading

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