MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Microsoft, MasterCard to Provide Payment, Technology Support for Micro-Business Owners in Mexico

Microsoft Corporation, a US-based technology firm, and MasterCard, a US-based financial services corporation with operations in 210 countries, have announced a partnership through which they will seek to enhance information technology, communication and payments for small-scale merchants in Mexico.

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Government of Egypt, MasterCard to Link National ID Card to Mobile Money Services, Extending Financial Services to “54m” Egyptians

MasterCard, a US-based payments company, and the Egyptian government have collaborated to link identification cards to the previously existing mobile money platform in the country.

MICROFINANCE PUBLICATION ROUND-UP: Maize Insurance in Burkina Faso, Risks to Microfinance in Pakistan, Claims Analysis in Health Microinsurance

“Loan Protection for Maize Farmers in Burkina Faso;” by Barbara Magnoni and Danielle Sobol; published by The MicroInsurance Centre; 2014; 13 pages; available at http://www.microinsurancecentre.org/resources/documents/milk-brief-35-doing-the-math-loan-protection-for-maize-farmers-in-burkina-faso/download.html

This paper presents the findings of a study focusing on the impact of droughts, specifically the costs to maize farmers in Burkina Faso.

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Belcash, Moss ICT Ramp Up Mobile Money Services HelloCash, M-Birr in Ethiopia

Ethiopian banks and microfinance institutions increasingly are adopting mobile money services to allow their customers to send or receive money using mobile phones and other devices linked to their financial account.

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Nigeria’s Grooming Centre to Issue Microloans on MasterCard Pre-Paid Cards

The Grooming Centre, a nonprofit provider of loans and deposit services to women in Nigeria for micro-, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs), has partnered with MasterCard, a US-based payments company, to replace the NGO’s cash- and check-based loan disbursals with prepaid MasterCard-branded payment cards.

MICROFINANCE EVENT: International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), World Bank to Host Global Forum on Remittances, June 16-19, 2015, Milan, Italy

Event Name: Global Forum on Remittances 2015

Event Date: June 16-19, 2015

Event Location: Centro Congressi Stella Polare Conference Centre, Milan, Italy

Summary of Event: This event is intended to promote awareness of remittances sent by migrants to their home countries. Session topics will include trends in remittances sent from Europe, best practices in regulation, opportunities for financial inclusion, competition and transaction costs, new technologies, opportunities for public-private partnerships and strategies for developing public-private partnerships to further financial inclusion.

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Deutsche Bank Announces Closing of $50m Social Enterprise Fund “Essential Capital Consortium” (ECC)

Germany-based Deutsche Bank’s Global Social Finance Group, which specializes in socially responsible investing, recently announced the closing of a five-year, USD 50 million Essential Capital Consortium (ECC) social enterprise fund.

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Microfinance Software Provider Mambu Links with NCC Group to Offer 90 Days of Business Continuity in Case of Catastrophic Failure of its Software-as-a-Service

Mambu, a Germany-based provider of off-site management information systems to microfinance institutions (MFIs), recently engaged the NCC Group, a US-based provider of security services relating to technology and intellectual property, to provide redundancy to Mambu customers in case of a failure of its software-as-a-service “cloud” systems.

MICROFINANCE EVENT: Mobile Money and Digital Payments Americas; March 24-25, 2015; Mexico City, Mexico

Event Name: Mobile Money & Digital Payments Americas

This event will be held at the same time and venue as the Prepaid Americas and Transport Ticketing Americas events.

Event Date: March 24-25, 2015

Event Location: Marquis Reforma Hotel; Mexico City, Mexico

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Fern Software Implements Abacus MIS System for Microfinance Institutions (MFIs) in Jordan, Tunisia; Premiering Arabic, French Editions of Software

UK-based Fern Software recently informed MicroCapital that it has implemented its Abacus financial management information system (MIS) in two additional languages: in Arabic for a microfinance institution (MFI) in Jordan and in French for an MFI in Tunisia.

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Amret Microfinance, Econet Wireless, myAgro, Urwego Opportunity Bank to Engage Human-Centered Design Firms to Improve Digital Financial Services for Smallholder Farmers in Cambodia, Africa

CGAP (The Consultative Group to Assist the Poor), a US-based nonprofit that aims to facilitate the expansion of financial access, recently selected the following financial service providers to receive an unspecified level of support from human-centered design firms to improve their digital financial services for small-scale farmers: (1) Amret Microfinance, a Cambodian microfinance institution; (2) the Zimbabwean arm of South African mobile network operator Econet Wireless and US-based relief and development nonprofit Mercy Corps; (3) myAgro, a nonprofit organization in Mali that sells agricultural inputs via mobile technology; and (4) Urwego Opportunity Bank (UOB), a microfinance institution that was created as a result of a merger between Urwego Community Banking and Opportunity International Bank of Rwanda [1]. While the Econet-Mercy partnership will engage human-centered design firm Ideo.org, the other three programs have not yet released the names of the organizations with which they will work. 

MICROFINANCE EVENT: Responsible Digital Finance; March 16, 2015; Frankfurt, Germany

Event Name: Responsible Digital Finance: Global and Local Perspectives on Emerging Opportunities and Risks

Event Date: March 16, 2015

Event Location: Frankfurt School of Finance and Management, Frankfurt, Germany

Cost: There is no fee to attend the event, although participants must register in advance.

Summary of Event: Attendees will discuss the opportunities and challenges of implementing digital finance services in developing countries, such as the need for transparent and safe digital products tailor-made for low-income segments of the population living in remote areas.

MICROFINANCE EVENT: Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) Winter Meeting; February 10, 2015; New York City, USA

Event Name: Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) Winter Meeting

Event Date: February 10, 2015

Event Location: Grand Hyatt New York at Grand Central Terminal, New York, New York, USA

Cost: There is no fee to attend the event, although participants may attend by invitation only.

Summary of Event: The attendees will discuss current world development challenges, such as how to sustainably connect small-farmers with markets, the implementation of long-term investment strategies to build resilient health services, how to decrease skills gaps in the marketplace and methods for protecting and managing water resources. Members will be encouraged to create collective action plans around specific development challenges. 

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: JD.com Crowdfunding to Expand Grameen China’s Microfinance Services

JD.com Incorporated, a direct sales e-commerce company in China with annual sales totalling RMB 29 billion (USD 11 billion) [1], recently entered into a collaboration with Grameen China, which operates under Grameen Trust, the nonprofit arm of Bangladesh’s Grameen Bank. [2]

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Investview Acquires Gate Global Impact, Gateway 2.0 Will Continue to Link Social Enterprises, Funders

Gate Global Impact (GGI), a US-based, regulatory-compliant electronic marketplace that focuses on impact investing, has been acquired by Investview, another US-based financial services company [1].

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Développement international Desjardins (DiD) Establishes Local Group Automating Microfinance Institution Operations in Senegal

Développement international Desjardins (DiD), a Canada-based nonprofit organization that focuses on providing technical support and investment to community financial institutions, recently announced the successful completion of a five-year long project to expand the computerization of the operations of microfinance institutions (MFIs) in Senegal.