Category: Technology

SPECIAL REPORT: Marion Allet: e-MFP Microfinance and Environment Action Group Offers Tools for Microfinance Institutions Looking to Go Green

MicroCapital: Would you please tell us about the European Microfinance Platform (e-MFP) Microfinance and Environment Action Group?

Marion Allet: The e-MFP Microfinance and Environment Action Group was officially launched in February 2013. It is an initiative of various organizations that were already involved in “green microfinance,” such as MicroEnergy International, ADA, PlaNet Finance, Enclude, PAMIGA (the Participatory Microfinance Group for Africa), Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) etc. A few years ago, there were very few actors addressing the issue of the environment within microfinance, so we thought there was a real need for sharing experiences. We also wanted to provide some practical tools to help stakeholders understand what green microfinance is and how to get involved. Continue reading

Share

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Grameen-Jameel Microfinance Donates $1m to Kiva Partnership “Change is in Your Hands,” Supporting Microlenders in Middle East, North Africa; Offers Additional $1m in Matching Funds

Kiva, a US-based nonprofit crowdfunding organization that raises money for microfinance institutions (MFIs), and Grameen-Jameel Microfinance Limited, a Cyprus-based nonprofit joint venture of the US-based Grameen Foundation and Saudi Arabia-based Abdul Latif Jameel Community Initiatives, have reportedly entered into a partnership to launch the “Change is in Your Hands” campaign, an initiative which uses the website http://www.kiva.org/middleeast to support lending initiatives that will provide financing to entrepreneurs in the Middle East and North Africa. Continue reading

Share
Written by Comments Off on MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Grameen-Jameel Microfinance Donates $1m to Kiva Partnership “Change is in Your Hands,” Supporting Microlenders in Middle East, North Africa; Offers Additional $1m in Matching Funds Posted in Africa, Investment Funds, Technology

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company Purchases 10% Equity Stake in Rocket Internet for $445m with Eye on Mobile Payments

The Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company (PLDT), a Philippines-based telecommunications company, reportedly has purchased a 10-percent stake in Rocket Internet, a Germany-based web service provider and e-commerce investment firm, for EUR 333 million (USD 445 million). Continue reading

Share

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Indian Government Launches 15 “Technology Centres” to Support Micro-, Small, Medium-sized Enterprises (MSMEs)

The Ministry of Micro-, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs), the Indian government agency in charge of regulating and supporting MSMEs, reportedly has launched its “Technology Centre Systems Programme,” which involves establishing 15 technology centers and improving the three existing such centers across the country. Continue reading

Share

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Microbanks Share Software Through Association of Microfinance Institutions (MFIs) in Rwanda

The Association of Microfinance Institutions in Rwanda (AMIR), a group of 62 member microfinance institutions (MFIs), is implementing a computer system to help its members improve their microfinance operations. Continue reading

Share
Written by Comments Off on MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Microbanks Share Software Through Association of Microfinance Institutions (MFIs) in Rwanda Posted in Africa, Technology

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Janalakshmi Financial Services to Buy $90m in Products, Services From International Business Machines (IBM)

Janalakshmi Financial Services (JFS), a Bangalore-based microfinance institution (MFI) that offers lending and insurance services, and International Business Machines (IBM), a US-based information technology consulting company, have signed a six-year agreement worth INR 5.5 billion (USD 90 million) to provide JFS with IBM products and services in support of the MFI’s proposed growth in India. Continue reading

Share

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, Central Bank of Tajikistan Unveil Draft for Mobile Banking Regulations

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), a UK-based multilateral institution, and the central bank of Tajikistan have been collaborating to launch a regulatory framework with the aim of utilizing technology and retail infrastructure to help banks and other organizations offer financial services outside of bank branches in the country.  Continue reading

Share

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Econet’s EcoCash, MasterCard to Provide Debit Cards to Mobile Money Users in Zimbabwe

EcoCash, a mobile money service offered by South Africa-based mobile communications company Econet Wireless, and MasterCard Incorporated, a US-based payments and technology company, reportedly have reached an agreement to issue approximately 3 million MasterCard debit cards to EcoCash customers in Zimbabwe over the next five years. Continue reading

Share
Written by Comments Off on MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Econet’s EcoCash, MasterCard to Provide Debit Cards to Mobile Money Users in Zimbabwe Posted in Africa, Deals, Technology

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) Launches India-based InfrasoftTech’s OMNIEnterprise Microfinance Software in Gaza, Jordan, Syria, West Bank

InfrasoftTech, a financial software firm that was founded in 1995 and is based in Mumbai, India, reportedly has announced that the microfinance department of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), which provides education, health care, social services has adopted InfrasoftTech’s OMNIEnterprise Microfinance Solution, a banking software system across its operations in: Gaza, Jordan, Syria and the West Bank. Continue reading

Share

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Accion’s Frontier Investments Invests Equity in Britain’s Eseye, Provider of Machine-to-Machine “M2M” Services That Can Facilitate Utility Service to Low-Income Households

Accion’s Frontier Investments Group, a venture-equity initiative that seeks to invest in companies serving financially excluded populations, has invested an undisclosed amount in Eseye Limited, a UK-based machine-to-machine (M2M) technology provider, during Eseye’s series-B financing round, which raised a total of USD 9 million. Continue reading

Share
Written by Comments Off on MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Accion’s Frontier Investments Invests Equity in Britain’s Eseye, Provider of Machine-to-Machine “M2M” Services That Can Facilitate Utility Service to Low-Income Households Posted in Africa, Deals, Technology

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Vietnam Bank for Social Policies (VBSP) Deploys Intellect Core Banking Solution of Indian Software Firm Polaris

The Vietnam Bank for Social Policies (VBSP), a government-owned bank that offers microfinance and other services in Vietnam, recently has deployed the Intellect (R) Core Banking Solution (CBS), an enterprise platform offered by India-based Polaris Financial Technology Limited (Polaris) [1]. Continue reading

Share

MICROFINANCE EVENT: NpM Platform for Inclusive Finance, ING Present “A Billion to Gain?” Conference, September 3, 2014, Amsterdam, Netherlands

Event Name: “A Billion to Gain?”

Event Date: September 3, 2014

Event Location: Eye Film Institute Netherlands, Amsterdam, Netherlands 
Continue reading

Share
Written by Comments Off on MICROFINANCE EVENT: NpM Platform for Inclusive Finance, ING Present “A Billion to Gain?” Conference, September 3, 2014, Amsterdam, Netherlands Posted in Events, Technology, Trends/Challenges

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Implements Bank Verification Number (BVN) Identification System for Customers in Lagos

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), the country’s central banking authority, reportedly has initiated the first phase of a nationwide identification system upgrade for bank branches in Lagos. Continue reading

Share
Written by Comments Off on MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Implements Bank Verification Number (BVN) Identification System for Customers in Lagos Posted in Africa, Events, Regulation, Technology

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Egyptian Payment Platform Fawry to Facilitate Provision of Electronic Government Services

Fawry, an Egyptian electronic payment company, reportedly has partnered with the Egyptian government with the aim of improving financial inclusion and expanding payment options to an increased proportion of the country’s population through digital communication channels. Continue reading

Share
Written by Comments Off on MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Egyptian Payment Platform Fawry to Facilitate Provision of Electronic Government Services Posted in Africa, Technology

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Gemalto, GSM Association to Provide Mobile Services to Support “Pan-African Mobile Health Initiative” for Mothers, Children

Gemalto, a publicly traded digital security firm located in the Netherlands, reportedly has announced its support of the Pan-African Mobile Health Initiative (PAMI), which uses mobile phones to address issues in nutrition and maternal and child health in seven African countries. Continue reading

Share
Written by Comments Off on MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Gemalto, GSM Association to Provide Mobile Services to Support “Pan-African Mobile Health Initiative” for Mothers, Children Posted in Africa, Mobile Money, Technology

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Mentors International Implements Mambu’s Cloud Banking Software to Support Lending to Small, Medium-sized Enterprises in El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Peru, Philippines

Mentors International, a US-based nonprofit microfinance institution (MFI) that seeks to help poor people in developing countries become self-sufficient, recently has signed on to use the banking software of Mambu, a Germany-based technology company that offers cloud-based banking solutions. Continue reading

Share
Written by Comments Off on MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Mentors International Implements Mambu’s Cloud Banking Software to Support Lending to Small, Medium-sized Enterprises in El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Peru, Philippines Posted in Deals, Technology

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Nigeria’s ActivEdge, SAP Africa to Launch Mobile Money Service

ActivEdge Technologies, a Nigeria-based company, and SAP Africa, the South Africa-based branch of German software provider Systemanalyse und Programmentwicklung (SAP), reportedly have partnered to offer a mobile money-transfer service to customers in Nigeria. Continue reading

Share

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Mobile Telecommunications Network (MTN) Rwanda, Kenya Commercial Bank Group (KCB), Kenya’s I&M Bank, Rwanda’s RSwitch to Offer Cardless ATM Banking Services in Rwanda

Mobile Telecommunications Network (MTN) Rwanda, the Rwandan branch of South Africa-based mobile telecommunications company MTN, reportedly has announced a partnership with Kenya Commercial Bank Group (KCB) and I&M Bank, which both offer corporate and retail banking services in Kenya, and RSwitch, an electronic payment service firm based in Rwanda, to offer cardless automated teller machine (ATM) services in Rwanda. Continue reading

Share
Written by Comments Off on MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Mobile Telecommunications Network (MTN) Rwanda, Kenya Commercial Bank Group (KCB), Kenya’s I&M Bank, Rwanda’s RSwitch to Offer Cardless ATM Banking Services in Rwanda Posted in Africa, Deals, Mobile Money, Technology