MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Uruguayan Financial Inclusion Law Mandates Government Payments be Made Electronically, Gives Tax Brake to Cash-less Transactions

The Uruguayan Parliament reportedly has announced the approval of a new financial inclusion law that mandates that workers and retired people must start receiving their paychecks and work benefits through bank accounts or electronic money services within four years. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Vodafone, ICICI Bank of India Launch Mobile Payments of Government Health Care Subsidies via M-Pesa

Vodafone Group Private Limited Corporation, a British mobile network operator, and ICICI Bank, a commercial bank in India, reportedly have launched a pilot service to deliver subsidies to individuals via M-Pesa, a mobile-money system developed by Vodafone from Janani Suraksha Yojna, a government scheme to decrease neo-natal and maternal deaths by providing delivery and post-delivery care. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: WorldRemit to Allow Payouts to MTN’s MobileMoney E-wallets in Uganda

WorldRemit, a UK-based online money transfer service, recently announced that it has expanded its services in Uganda to enable remittances to be delivered through mobile phones via Mobile Telecommunication Network’s (MTN’s) MobileMoney service. Continue reading

Written by Comments Off on MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: WorldRemit to Allow Payouts to MTN’s MobileMoney E-wallets in Uganda Posted in Africa, Mobile Money

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Gives 2-Year Extension to Share, Asmitha, Spandana Sphoorty to Meet Capital Requirements

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has given three microfinance institutions (MFIs) a two-year extension to meet the requirements to qualify as non-banking financial company (NBFC) MFIs. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Acumen Fund, Adolf H Lundin Charitable Foundation Invest $1.5m in Farmer Information Service Esoko Networks of Ghana to Expand into East Africa

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. Continue reading

Written by Comments Off on MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Acumen Fund, Adolf H Lundin Charitable Foundation Invest $1.5m in Farmer Information Service Esoko Networks of Ghana to Expand into East Africa Posted in Africa, Deals, Technology

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Cable and Wireless Panama (CWP) Introduces “Movilcash” Mobile Money Service

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. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Partner Microcredit Foundation of Bosnia and Herzegovina Borrows $4m from European Fund for Southeast Europe (EFSE) for Lending to Micro, Small Enterprises (MSEs)

Partner Microcredit Foundation (PMCF), a microfinance institution in Bosnia and Herzegovina, recently borrowed EUR 3 million (USD 4.1 million) under a senior loan agreement from the European Fund for Southeast Europe (EFSE), a Luxembourg-based investment vehicle organization promoting economic development. Continue reading

Written by Comments Off on MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Partner Microcredit Foundation of Bosnia and Herzegovina Borrows $4m from European Fund for Southeast Europe (EFSE) for Lending to Micro, Small Enterprises (MSEs) Posted in Deals

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: First Gulf Bank, Monitise to Launch Mobile Banking Services in Middle East

First Gulf Bank (FGB), a commercial bank based in the United Arab Emirates, and Monitise, a UK-based facilitator of mobile money services, reportedly have announced a partnership to offer unspecified “new mobile banking services to clients in the Middle East”[1]. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: European Fund for Southeast Europe (EFSE) Loans $6.8m to MF Banka a.d. Banja Luka of Bosnia and Herzegovina for On-lending to Micro-, Small Enterprises

The European Fund for Southeast Europe (EFSE), a Luxembourg-based microfinance investment vehicle, has disbursed a senior loan of EUR 5 million (USD 6.8 million) to MF Banka a.d. Banja Luka, a microfinance institution (MFI) in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Microfinance Information Exchange (MIX) Introduces FINclusion Lab, Offering Country-Specific Financial Inclusion Data Visualization and Analysis

The Microfinance Information Exchange (MIX), a US-based nonprofit, recently announced the launch of FINclusion Lab, a platform that provides interactive visual interpretation and analysis of country-specific data pertaining to financial services activities in Africa, Asia and Latin America [1]. Continue reading

Written by Comments Off on MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Microfinance Information Exchange (MIX) Introduces FINclusion Lab, Offering Country-Specific Financial Inclusion Data Visualization and Analysis Posted in Key Players, Transparency, Trends/Challenges

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Partner Microcredit Foundation (PMCF) of Bosnia and Herzegovina Borrows $5.5m from Green for Growth Fund (GGF) for Energy Efficiency Financing

Partner Microcredit Foundation (PMCF), a microfinance institution in Bosnia and Herzegovina, recently borrowed EUR 4 million (USD 5.48 million) under a senior credit agreement from Green for Growth Fund, Southeast Europe (GGF), a Luxembourg-based organization focusing on the use of renewable energy sources and enhancing energy efficiency. Continue reading

Written by Comments Off on MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Partner Microcredit Foundation (PMCF) of Bosnia and Herzegovina Borrows $5.5m from Green for Growth Fund (GGF) for Energy Efficiency Financing Posted in Deals

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Airtel, Ghana Post to Expand Mobile Money Service “Airtel Money” to 350 Post Offices

Airtel Ghana, a subsidiary of Indian telecommunications company Bharti Airtel, and Ghana Post, the country’s postal service provider, reportedly have announced a partnership to expand the availability of the Airtel Money service from the previous 150 to all 350 Ghana Post outlets nationwide. Continue reading

Written by Comments Off on MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Airtel, Ghana Post to Expand Mobile Money Service “Airtel Money” to 350 Post Offices Posted in Africa, Mobile Money

MICROFINANCE PUBLICATION ROUND-UP: Over-indebtedness in Mexico; Achieving Customer Centricity; Managing Over-indebtedness

“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. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Bandhan Financial Services of India Reduces Lending Rate to 22.4% per Year

Bandhan Financial Services, a microfinance institution (MFI) based in the Indian city of Kolkata, reportedly announced that it has reduced its lending rate by 50 basis points, or 0.5 percent, bringing its annual interest rate down to 22.4 percent. Continue reading

MICROFINANCE PUBLICATION ROUND-UP: Islamic Social Finance, Transforming Client Complaints into Loyalty, Microinsurance Profitability

“Islamic Social Finance Report 2014,” by Thomson Reuters and the Islamic Research and Training Institute, published by Zawya, 2014, 64 pages, available at: http://www.zawya.com/islamic-finance/isfr/

This report examines opportunities and challenges for Islamic social finance in Bangladesh, Brunei Darussalam, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Pakistan and Singapore. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Skoll Foundation Awards Microfinance Institution Fundación Capital of Colombia, 6 Others $1.25m Each for Social Entrepreneurship

The Skoll Foundation, an organization that seeks to promote sustainability, peace and prosperity in the developing world by investing in social enterprises, recently honored seven organizations with the Skoll Award for Social Entrepreneurship, which is given to social enterprises to fund business initiatives deemed innovative. Continue reading

Written by Comments Off on MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Skoll Foundation Awards Microfinance Institution Fundación Capital of Colombia, 6 Others $1.25m Each for Social Entrepreneurship Posted in Deals, Latin America