Category: Technology

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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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Agricultural Mobile Applications in Kenya Increase Market Information for Farmers

Kenyan farmers are using mobile agriculture applications to improve market information such as M-Farm, iCow, Kilimo Salama, M-Pesa and M-Shwari. These agri-technological innovations aim to offer either increased transparency or the extension of financial services to farmers. Continue reading

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MICROFINANCE PUBLICATION ROUND-UP: Savings Groups in Rural Mali, Three Market Archetypes Advancing Financial Inclusion, Long-term Trends in India’s Rural Credit Market

“Final Impact Evaluation of the Savings for Change Program in Mali;” by Bureau of Applied Research in Anthropology at The University of Arizona and Innovations for Poverty Action (IPA); published by Oxfam America and Freedom from Hunger; April 2013; 215 pages; available at http://www.oxfamamerica.org/issues/community-finance/files/final-impact-evaluation-saving-for-change

This report presents the results from a study conducted by The University of Arizona and Innovations for Poverty (IPA) between 2009 and 2012 intended to explore the impact of savings groups in 500 villages in rural Mali, where 82 percent of surveyed households live on approximately USD 1.25 per day and the “typical village is more than 14 miles from a paved road.” Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: MFTransparency Reveals Truth in Lending Tables Data Platform and Pricing Transparency Index

MicroFinance Transparency (MFTransparency), a US-based nongovernmental organization that provides information on microcredit products and their prices, recently revealed the Truth in Lending Tables (TILT) Data Platform that displays the interest rates and fees charged to 40 million microfinance clients of 429 institutions across 20 countries. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Bank Indonesia Releases “Guiding Principles” for Branchless Banking Trial; Indosat, Telkomsel, PT XL Axiata to Offer Money Transfers for $0.21

Bank Indonesia, the country’s central bank, recently issued “guiding principles” for upcoming tests of a banking and payment system through existing Financial Services Intermediary Units (FSIU), registered third-party services which facilitate the provision of non-conventional banking services. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Land Bank of Philippines Announces Bayadload E-Payment Service for Mandatory Government Contributions

The Land Bank of the Philippines (LBP), a government bank specializing in serving farmers and fishermen, has announced that it will partner with Smart Hub, a subsidiary of Filipino telecom Smart Communications, to offer a new e-payment channel called “BayadLoad” to allow household workers or their employers to make mandatory government contributions using their mobile phones. Continue reading

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