MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Microbanks Share Software Through Association of Microfinance Institutions (MFIs) in Rwanda

The Association of Microfinance Institutions in Rwanda (AMIR), a group of 62 member microfinance institutions (MFIs), is implementing a computer system to help its members improve their microfinance operations.

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Janalakshmi Financial Services to Buy $90m in Products, Services From International Business Machines (IBM)

Janalakshmi Financial Services (JFS), a Bangalore-based microfinance institution (MFI) that offers lending and insurance services, and International Business Machines (IBM), a US-based information technology consulting company, have signed a six-year agreement worth INR 5.5 billion (USD 90 million) to provide JFS with IBM products and services in support of the MFI’s proposed growth in India.

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, Central Bank of Tajikistan Unveil Draft for Mobile Banking Regulations

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), a UK-based multilateral institution, and the central bank of Tajikistan have been collaborating to launch a regulatory framework with the aim of utilizing technology and retail infrastructure to help banks and other organizations offer financial services outside of bank branches in the country. 

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Econet’s EcoCash, MasterCard to Provide Debit Cards to Mobile Money Users in Zimbabwe

EcoCash, a mobile money service offered by South Africa-based mobile communications company Econet Wireless, and MasterCard Incorporated, a US-based payments and technology company, reportedly have reached an agreement to issue approximately 3 million MasterCard debit cards to EcoCash customers in Zimbabwe over the next five years.

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) Launches India-based InfrasoftTech’s OMNIEnterprise Microfinance Software in Gaza, Jordan, Syria, West Bank

InfrasoftTech, a financial software firm that was founded in 1995 and is based in Mumbai, India, reportedly has announced that the microfinance department of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), which provides education, health care, social services has adopted InfrasoftTech’s OMNIEnterprise Microfinance Solution, a banking software system across its operations in: Gaza, Jordan, Syria and the West Bank.

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Accion’s Frontier Investments Invests Equity in Britain’s Eseye, Provider of Machine-to-Machine “M2M” Services That Can Facilitate Utility Service to Low-Income Households

Accion’s Frontier Investments Group, a venture-equity initiative that seeks to invest in companies serving financially excluded populations, has invested an undisclosed amount in Eseye Limited, a UK-based machine-to-machine (M2M) technology provider, during Eseye’s series-B financing round, which raised a total of USD 9 million.

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Vietnam Bank for Social Policies (VBSP) Deploys Intellect Core Banking Solution of Indian Software Firm Polaris

The Vietnam Bank for Social Policies (VBSP), a government-owned bank that offers microfinance and other services in Vietnam, recently has deployed the Intellect (R) Core Banking Solution (CBS), an enterprise platform offered by India-based Polaris Financial Technology Limited (Polaris) [1].

MICROFINANCE EVENT: NpM Platform for Inclusive Finance, ING Present “A Billion to Gain?” Conference, September 3, 2014, Amsterdam, Netherlands

Event Name: “A Billion to Gain?”

Event Date: September 3, 2014

Event Location: Eye Film Institute Netherlands, Amsterdam, Netherlands 

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Implements Bank Verification Number (BVN) Identification System for Customers in Lagos

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), the country’s central banking authority, reportedly has initiated the first phase of a nationwide identification system upgrade for bank branches in Lagos.

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Egyptian Payment Platform Fawry to Facilitate Provision of Electronic Government Services

Fawry, an Egyptian electronic payment company, reportedly has partnered with the Egyptian government with the aim of improving financial inclusion and expanding payment options to an increased proportion of the country’s population through digital communication channels.

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Gemalto, GSM Association to Provide Mobile Services to Support “Pan-African Mobile Health Initiative” for Mothers, Children

Gemalto, a publicly traded digital security firm located in the Netherlands, reportedly has announced its support of the Pan-African Mobile Health Initiative (PAMI), which uses mobile phones to address issues in nutrition and maternal and child health in seven African countries.

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Mentors International Implements Mambu’s Cloud Banking Software to Support Lending to Small, Medium-sized Enterprises in El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Peru, Philippines

Mentors International, a US-based nonprofit microfinance institution (MFI) that seeks to help poor people in developing countries become self-sufficient, recently has signed on to use the banking software of Mambu, a Germany-based technology company that offers cloud-based banking solutions.

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Nigeria’s ActivEdge, SAP Africa to Launch Mobile Money Service

ActivEdge Technologies, a Nigeria-based company, and SAP Africa, the South Africa-based branch of German software provider Systemanalyse und Programmentwicklung (SAP), reportedly have partnered to offer a mobile money-transfer service to customers in Nigeria.

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.

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Emerge Mobile of South Africa Announces “Edge” Cashless Payment Service

Emerge Mobile, a South African mobile service company, has announced the commercial launch of its “Edge” mobile point-of-sale (MPOS) device, which can be plugged into a mobile phone to allow a retailer to accept credit and debit card transactions [1].

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.

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.

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.