Category: Technology

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

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. Continue reading


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]. Continue reading


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]. Continue reading


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

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. Continue reading


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]. Continue reading


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

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. Continue reading


MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Central Bank of Zimbabwe Imposes 5% Tax on Mobile Money Services

The Central Bank of Zimbabwe reportedly has imposed a five-percent tax on the fees charged to effect mobile money transactions such as cash transfers, cellular phone payments and utility bill payments following lobbying effort by the Bankers Association of Zimbabwe, a nonprofit organization of member banks. Continue reading


MICROFINANCE EVENT: Burgundy School of Business, ISCAE, Attawfiq Micro-Finance to Host “5th International Conference on Institutional and Technological Environment for Microfinance (ITEM5),” March 18 – 20, 2014, Casablanca, Morocco

Event Name: 5th International Conference on the Institutional and Technological Environment for Microfinance (ITEM5)

Event Date: March 18 – 20, 2014

Event Location: Institut Supérieur de Commerce et d’Administration des Entreprises (ISCAE), Casablanca, Morocco Continue reading


MICROFINANCE PAPER WRAP-UP: “Global Financial Development Report 2014,” Published by the World Bank

“Global Financial Development Report 2014,” published by The World Bank, January 2014, 225 pages, available at,,menuPK:8816192~pagePK:64168176~piPK:64168140~theSitePK:8816097,00.html

This report draws on research and analysis of the global financial services market to address the needs of low-income people that do not have access to financial services and recommends policies that the authors believe would increase financial inclusion. Continue reading


MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Kotak Mahindra Bank Launches Financial Inclusion Programme for Amul Milk-Cooperative Members in West Bengal, India

Kotak Mahindra Bank, a private bank in India, has launched a financial inclusion programme in the Indian state of West Bengal that is aimed at members of 75 cooperatives that supply milk to Amul, the brand owned by the Gujarat Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation (GCMMF), a federation of 17 district-level cooperative unions with a combined membership of 3.18 million milk producers [1] [2]. Continue reading


MICROFINANCE PUBLICATION ROUND-UP: From Access to Inclusion: Educating Clients; Economics of Digital Payment Systems; Financial Inclusion and Post Offices

From Access to Inclusion: Educating Clients,” published by Women’s World Banking; 2013; 32 pages, available at

This report addresses the use of mass media campaigns and one-to-one outreach by financial institutions to provide financial education to low-income women in order to promote increased usage of financial products. Research by Women’s World Banking (WWB) indicates that people with the most need for microfinance products, such as small business loans, savings accounts and microinsurance, often fail to use the services not because of lack of access, but rather due to inexperience with the formal financial sector. Continue reading


MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Accion Venture Lab Invests in Kenyan Mobile Money System Kopo Kopo, MeraDoctor of India

US-based nonprofit Accion has announced that its Accion Venture Lab, a USD 10 million investment vehicle that provides seed capital and management support to financial inclusion startups, has invested unspecified amounts of money in two companies: Kopo Kopo, a Kenya-based service that allows small businesses to accept customer payments through mobile phone; and MeraDoctor, which provides low-cost health insurance in India as well as 24-hour access to doctors by telephone that is intended to lessen health impacts by reducing delays in seeking care [1]. Continue reading


MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: European Commission’s “JASMINE Helpdesk” Answers Questions on Microfinance in Europe

The JASMINE (Joint Action to Support Microfinance Institutions in Europe) Helpdesk, which has been operational since 2011, is an online information service that provides answers to microfinance-related queries posed by representatives of microfinance institutions (MFIs), microentrepreneurs, and others interested in microfinance in Europe [1]. Continue reading