MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Truelift Updates Truelift Indicators Tool for Assessing Pro-poor Focus of Microfinance Institutions

Truelift, an initiative that recognises institutions that exhibit commitment to the “pro-poor objective of microfinance,” has announced an updated version of its Truelift Indicators Tool, a set of criteria intended to assess how much microfinance institutions (MFIs) meet the needs of low-income people [1].

MICROFINANCE PUBLICATION ROUND-UP: Government Efforts to Achieve Financial Inclusion in India; Index-based Insurance in South, Southeast Asia; Microinsurance Claims Management

“Report of the Committee on Comprehensive Financial Services for Small Businesses and Low Income Households;” published by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI); December 31, 2013; 247 pages; available at http://rbidocs.rbi.org.in/rdocs/PublicationReport/Pdfs/CFS070114RFL.pdf

This report was authored by the Committee on Comprehensive Financial Services for Small Businesses and Low Income Households, which was appointed by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) in September 2013 to propose measures for increasing access to financial services in India.

MICROFINANCE PUBLICATION ROUND-UP: Women and Mobile Financial Services in Uganda; Quantitative Poverty Scoring Methods; European Investment Bank’s Rural Impulse Fund II Symposium in Africa

“Research on Women and Usability of Mobile Financial Services in Uganda;” published by Grameen Foundation; February 2014; 40 pages; available at http://www.grameenfoundation.org/resource/use-mobile-financial-services-among-poor-women

This presentation gives an overview of the Uganda-specific results of a series of studies undertaken by the US-based nonprofit Grameen Foundation with the goal of understanding how mobile-phone usability, or lack thereof, impacts the ability of poor women to access mobile financial services in India, the Philippines and Uganda.

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Entrepreneurial Finance Lab Offers Microfinance Institutions (MFIs) Credit Scores for Micro-, Small Enterprises (MSEs) Based on Psychometric Tests

In an effort to promote financing to self-employed entrepreneurs and micro- and small enterprises (MSEs) in emerging economies, Entrepreneurial Finance Lab (EFL), a US-based company, is employing psychometric analyses to assess the creditworthiness of loan applicants.

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: US-based Startups First Access, Cignifi Analyze Mobile Phone Usage to Measure Creditworthiness of Unbanked

A number of startup companies are employing analytical techniques based on “big data” to interpret the mobile phone usage of poor people to assess the creditworthiness of those applying for loans in developing economies.

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Tigo Introduces Cross-border Mobile Money Transfer Service With Currency Conversion Serving Rwanda, Tanzania

Millicom International Cellular, a Luxembourg-based telecommunications company also known as Tigo, recently introduced a cross-border mobile money transfer service between Rwanda and Tanzania that includes currency conversion.

MICROFINANCE PAPER WRAP-UP: “Using Subsidies for Inclusive Insurance: Lessons from Agriculture and Health;” by Ruth Vargas Hill, Gissele Gajate-Garrido, Caroline Phily, and Aparna Dalal; Published by International Labour Organization

“Using Subsidies for Inclusive Insurance: Lessons from Agriculture and Health;” by Ruth Vargas Hill, Gissele Gajate-Garrido, Caroline Phily, and Aparna Dalal; published by International Labour Organization; January 2014; 55 pages; available at http://www.microinsurancefacility.org/publications/mp29

This report was published by the Microinsurance Innovation Facility, a nonprofit research institution housed within the UN’s International Labour Organization (ILO) that promotes the development of insurance products and risk-mitigation markets in developing economies.

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Orange, Banco Popular Dominicano Launch M-Peso Mobile Payment Service in the Dominican Republic

Orange Dominicana, subsidiary of Orange of France that offers prepaid mobile services in the Dominican Republic, and Banco Popular Dominicano, a commercial bank in the Dominican Republic, reportedly have launched the M-Peso mobile wallet and payment service in the Dominican Republic. 

MICROFINANCE PUBLICATION ROUND-UP: Inclusix Index of Financial Inclusion in India; Obstacles to Access in Microinsurance; Microfinance in Kenya

“CRISIL Inclusix: An index to measure India’s progress on Financial Inclusion;” published by Credit Rating Information Services of India Limited (CRISIL); June 2013; 101 pages; available at http://crisil.com/pdf/corporate/CRISIL-Inclusix.pdf

Based on data from 2009 through 2011, this report gives an overview of the findings of the CRISIL Inclusix index, an analytical tool designed by Credit Rating Information Services of India Limited (CRISIL) to measure progress in financial inclusion in India at the national, regional, state and district levels.

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), MasterCard Partner to Support Financial Inclusion, Transparency in Latin America, Caribbean

The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), a US-based multilateral financial institution that seeks to support sustainable economic growth in Latin America and the Caribbean countries, has partnered with MasterCard Incorporated, a US-based payments and technology company with operations in 210 countries and territories, to expand electronic payment systems in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) [1].

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Microfinance Provider Khushhali Bank, Smart and Renewable Energy Solutions Partner to Increase Solar Power in Rural Pakistan

Khushhali Bank, a microfinance institution (MFI) in Pakistan, has signed an agreement with Smart and Renewable Energy Solutions (SRE Solutions), a Pakistan-based firm that offers solar energy products, to provide financing for “Solar Magic Box,” a device manufactured and sold by SRE Solutions that generates electricity from the sun [1].

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Myanmar Mobile Money, Mobilemate Telecommunications Launch Mobile Money Services in Myanmar

Myanmar Mobile Money, a Myanmar-based subsidiary of France-based Oberthur Technologies, recently partnered with Mobilemate Telecommunications, a Singapore-based company, to launch mobile money services in Myanmar.

MICROFINANCE PUBLICATION ROUND-UP: Microcredit Interest Rate Determinants; Mobile Phones and Microinsurance; Health Financing Through Gifts and Remittances in Kenya

“Microcredit Interest Rates and Their Determinants 2004-2011;” by Richard Rosenberg, Scott Gaul, William Ford and Olga Tomilova; published by CGAP (Consultative Group to Assist the Poor); June 2013; 32 pages; available at http://www.cgap.org/sites/default/files/Forum-Microcredit-Interest-Rates-and-Their-Determinants-June-2013_1.pdf

This study explores the factors affecting the determination of interest rates that microfinance institutions (MFIs) charge their customers by analyzing financial data reported from 2004 to 2011 by MFIs to the Microfinance Information Exchange (MIX), a US-based nonprofit data provider.

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Chinese Internet Companies Alibaba, Baidu Offer Financial Services Through Subsidiaries Yu’e Bao, Baifa

Internet companies in China reportedly are increasing financial inclusion through services such as Yu’e Bao, an online savings and investment product of e-commerce player Alibaba Group, and Baifa, an online “wealth management” product launched by search engine Baidu [1].

MICROFINANCE PUBLICATION ROUND-UP: Effectiveness of Microfinance in Cambodia; Scaling Up in Agriculture and Development; Mobile Savings in Ecuador

“AMK Cambodia – Have AMK loans helped its clients improve their overall wellbeing?”, published by Angkor Mikroheranhvatho Kampuchea (AMK); January 2014; 12 pages; available at https://www.incofin.com/sites/default/files/attachments/newsitems/Change%20Study_AMK_2014.pdf

This report explores the results of a five-year study of the effectiveness of Angkor Mikroheranhvatho Kampuchea (AMK), a Cambodian microfinance institution, in helping increase its clients’ livelihoods through microcredit services.