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 .
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Dahabshiil, an international money transfer business founded in Somaliland that has operations or agents in 150 countries, reportedly has announced that it is introducing a mobile money platform in Somaliland called E-Dahab .
Cash Application Universal (Cash Application), a technology company based in Zimbabwe, reportedly has released CAPU, a “Windows-based mobile money management software” that allows users to manage their use of mobile money.
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,”, http://www.starafrica.com.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
“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.
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.