Category: Technology

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Tanzania Postal Bank (TPB), World Savings Banks Institute (WSBI), Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to Launch “TPB Popote” to Reach Unbanked Tanzanians

The Tanzania Postal Bank (TPB), a Tanzania-based financial services organization, recently partnered with the World Savings Banks Institute (WSBI), a Switzerland-based international banking association, and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF), a US-based nonprofit organization, to launch a new mobile banking service called “TPB Popote” that aims to increase the financial inclusion of low-income people in rural regions of Tanzania. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Ecobank, Lonestar Cell MTN Launch “Mobile Money School Fees Payment Service” in Liberia

Ecobank Transnational Incorporated (ETI), a pan-African banking conglomerate that operates in 33 African countries, and Lonestar Cell Mobile Telecommunications Network (MTN), a member of the multinational telecommunications company MTN Group that has services in 21 countries in Africa, Europe and Middle East, reportedly have launched a partnership in Liberia that will alleviate the costs of waiting to pay for students’ school fees [1]. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Create “Geospatial Mapping of Financial Institutions” Program in Effort to Boost Inclusion

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Nigeria’s central bank and main financial regulator, reportedly has partnered with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF), a US-based nonprofit organization, to form a new initiative called “Geospatial Mapping of Financial Institutions” that aims to increase the financial inclusion of low-income Nigerians [1]. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Standard Bank, Systemanalyse und Programmentwicklung (SAP) To Launch “AccessBanking” to Reach Unbanked in South Africa

Standard Bank, a South Africa-based financial services company, recently partnered with Systemanalyse und Programmentwicklung (SAP), a Germany-based business software provider, to launch AccessBanking, a new service that enables low-income people in South Africa without access to traditional banking services to set up bank accounts with Standard Bank using their mobile phones [1]. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: MasterCard, Nigeria National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) to Produce 13 Million “National Identity Smart Cards”

MasterCard, a US-based payment solutions company, recently announced a new partnership with the Nigerian National Identity Management Commission (NIMC), an initiative of the Nigerian government to enroll all citizens and permanent residents into a national identity database, to produce 13 million “National Identity Smart Cards” that can be used as both identification cards as well as an electronic payment solution. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI) Launches India Microfinance Platform

The Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI), a state-owned bank, with the help of the World Bank, a US-based international development institution, and implemented by the US-based nonprofit Microfinance Information Exchange (MIX), has launched the India Microfinance Platform, a web-based portal that will provide information on all the microfinance organizations in India. Continue reading

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MICROFINANCE PUBLICATION ROUND-UP: Alleviating Poverty via Mobile Communications; Integrating Microfinance, Health Services in the Andes; Mobile Phone Technology for Women in Afghanistan

Alleviating Poverty: Mobile Communications, Microfinance and Small Business Development Around the World;” by Darrell M. West; published by The Brookings Institution; May 2013; 12 pages; available at: http://www.brookings.edu/~/media/research/files/papers/2013/05/16%20poverty%20mobile%20microfinance%20business%20west/westalleviating%20povertymobile%20comms%20microfinance%20small%20business51613v12.pdf Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Etisalat, National Bank of Egypt, MasterCard to Launch Mobile Money Service in Egypt

The Egyptian subsidiary of the Emirates Telecommunications Corporation (Etisalat), a United Arab Emirates-based telecommunications services provider, recently formed two partnerships with the National Bank of Egypt (NBE), a commercial bank wholly owned by the Egyptian government, and MasterCard, a US-based payment solutions company, to launch a mobile commerce service known as “Flous,” meaning “money” in Arabic. Continue reading

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MICROFINANCE PAPER WRAP-UP: “Audiovisual Mass Media Campaigns for Insurance Education: Stages and Lessons;” by Sarah Bel, Mariana Pinzon Caicedo; published by Microinsurance Innovation Facility, International Labour Organization

By Sarah Bel and Mariana Pinzon Caicedo; published by the Microinsurance Innovation Facility and the International Labour Organization; 2013; 55 pages; available at: http://www.ilo.org/public/english/employment/mifacility/download/mpaper21.pdf

This paper presents an analysis of the potential role of mass media campaigns in allowing microinsurance sellers to provide cost-efficient programs offering information about insurance products and services to low-income households. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Gemalto Provides Biometric Smart Cards for “Prime Cash” Branchless Banking in Bangladesh

Gemalto, a digital security company based in the Netherlands, has developed a smart card-based system for two Bangladeshi businesses: Prime Bank Limited, a commercial bank founded in 1995, and Dipon Consultancy Services Limited (DCSL), a member of the Bangladesh-based conglomerate Dipon Group. The system will support the branchless banking service known as Prime Cash, which was established by the two firms in 2012. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Equity Bank, Google Announce BebaPay Card for Paying Bus Fares in Kenya

In partnership with Google, a US-based provider of technology products and services, Equity Bank, a private bank based in Kenya, has announced that the bank will be offering a new cashless payment card system called BebaPay, which is expected to enable users to pay bus fares without the use of cash. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: European Commission, European Investment Bank Launch Small, Medium-Sized Enterprise Financing Website

The European Commission (EC), the legislative body of the European Union (EU), recently introduced an online portal featuring small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) stock prices and providing SMEs with information on the following EC programs: the Competitiveness and Innovation Program (CIP), which offers business support services; European Progress Microfinance Facility, which supports microcredit providers; Risk Sharing Instrument Facility (RSI), which supports debt financing to SMEs for research, development and innovation projects; and the Joint European Resources for Micro to Medium Enterprises (JEREMIE), which allows EU member states to use EU structural funds to finance SMEs via equity, loans or guarantees [1]. Continue reading

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