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. Continue reading →
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. Continue reading →
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.
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. Continue reading →
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. Continue reading →
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. Continue reading →
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 . 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. Continue reading →
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. Continue reading →
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. Continue reading →
JD.com Incorporated, a direct sales e-commerce company in China with annual sales totalling RMB 29 billion (USD 11 billion) , recently entered into a collaboration with Grameen China, which operates under Grameen Trust, the nonprofit arm of Bangladesh’s Grameen Bank.  Continue reading →
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 . Continue reading →
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. Continue reading →
Aspekt Business Analyses and Global Solutions, a Macedonia-based provider of software development and information technology consulting services, recently notified MicroCapital that it has released a new website, http://www.microfinancesoftware.com. Continue reading →
The Rural Outreach & Innovation Action Group of the European Microfinance Platform (e-MFP) met today as part of a full day of Action Group meetings at European Microfinance Week, which is being hosted in Luxembourg by e-MFP, a 130-member NGO. Michael Tarazi, a senior financial sector specialist at CGAP (Consultative Group to Assist the Poor) argued against pushing lending products on new rural clients, instead proposing a multi-stage approach. For example, farmers can be offered mobile phones for free, with the promise of receiving information such as crop management suggestions via SMS (text message). Then crop buyers can purchase access to the farmers’ phones, such as to request the preparation of a wholesale load of crops from a group of the farmers at a given price. This can increase the income of the farmers, putting them in a better position to repay future loans for improvements to their processes. As Mr Tarazi put it, “Finance comes at the end; first you develop the digital ecosystem with other valued services such as information.” Continue reading →
The Bank of Suzhou Limited, a Chinese commercial bank, has announced that it will collaborate with Dianrong.com, a Chinese peer-to-peer lending platform, to build a website to intermediate loans from members of the public to micro- and small enterprises. Continue reading →