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.
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.
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.
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.
“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.
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”.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Dialog Axiata (DA), a Sri Lankan mobile communications subsidiary of Malaysia’s Axiata Group Berhad, reportedly has announced that it will begin a partnership with Etisalat Lanka (EL), a cellular network owned by the Emirates Telecommunications Corporation of the United Arab Emirates, to extend Dialog’s “eZcash” mobile payments to EL’s customers in Sri Lanka.
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 .
“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.
“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.