MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Central Bank of Myanmar Clears the Air by Issuing Mobile Financial Services License for OK Dollar

Myanmar’s Internet Wallet Limited reportedly has received a mobile financial services license from the Central Bank of Myanmar to cover the operations of its subsidiary, OK Dollar,

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: MicroFinanza Rating Issues 13 Institutional, Social, Client-protection Credentials to Microfinance Institutions in Albania, Morocco, Namibia, Asia, Latin America

During July and August, Italy’s MicroFinanza Rating (MFR) issued five microfinance institutional ratings. Morocco’s Attadamoune Micro-Finance was assigned the grade B+ with a stable outlook. Ecuador’s Fundación Espoir and Albania’s FED Invest both earned grades of BB with stable outlooks. Two institutions earned grades of

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: MicroFinanza Rating Announces Client Protection Certifications, Ratings in Asia, LAC

During May 2017, Italy’s MicroFinanza Rating (MFR), under license from the US-based Smart Campaign, determined that Kyrgyzstan’s Kompanion Bank and FINCA Pakistan have complied with the certification standards derived from the Smart Campaign’s seven client protection

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: India’s Microfinance Institutions Network (MFIN) Launches Financial Literacy App in 5 Languages

The Microfinance Institutions Network (MFIN), a self-regulatory organization of 53 Indian microfinance and non-banking financial institutions, recently launched a financial literacy app in English, Hindi, Marathi, Tamil and Telugu. The app offers users their credit histories, interest rates, payment cycles

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: MicroFinanza Issues 13 Institutional, Credit, TrueLift Ratings to Microfinance Institutions in Haiti, Latin America, Togo

During April 2017, Italy’s MicroFinanza Rating issued four microfinance institutional ratings. Two of these were to affiliates of French NGO Entrepreneurs du Monde: BB- with a stable outlook to Assilassimé Solidarité of Togo and CC “under observation” to Palmis Mikwofinans Sosyal of Haiti. The other two are

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Ant Financial, Ayala Buy Equity Stakes in Globe’s Mynt, Operator of the Philippines’ GCash, Fuse Lending

Ant Financial Services Group (Ant Fin), a member of China’s Alibaba Group, and Ayala Corporation, a Philippine conglomerate, recently announced their purchases of minority stakes in Globe Fintech Innovations, a financial technology (fintech) affiliate of Globe Telecom that uses the trade name Mynt. Mynt operates GCash, a mobile money

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: With Certification of al Amana, Attawfiq, 64% of Microfinance Clients in Morocco Covered by “Smart” Campaign for Client Protection

Italy’s MicroFinanza Rating recently certified two Moroccan microfinance institutions (MFIs), al Amana and Attawfiq Micro-Finance, as operating within the Smart Campaign’s Client Protection Principles. With a third institution, Tamwil El Fellah (TEF), having received certification in 2016, 64 percent of

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Bank of Ghana Introduces Logo for Licensed Microfinance Institutions, New Monitoring Requirements

The Bank of Ghana (BoG), the financial regulator of the country, is introducing a logo that microfinance institutions (MFIs) can display to help consumers “distinguish between credible, licensed microfinance institutions and unlicensed ones.” BoG also is requiring MFIs to monitor

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Palestine Monetary Authority Puts Credit Reports Online for Microfinance Institutions, Banks

The Palestine Monetary Authority (PMA), with assistance from Ramallah-based Al-Andalus Software Development, recently released a “credit reports handling system” that allows financial institutions to access to individual’s credit histories electronically. Previously, credit report requests had to be filed in person

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Asian Development Bank Invests $1.5m in Equity in India’s M-CRIL to Expand Ratings in Cambodia, China, Indonesia, Nepal

Micro-Credit Ratings International Limited (M-CRIL), an India-based provider of rating and advisory services to the microfinance industry, recently sold an unspecified portion of its equity to the Asian Development Bank (ADB), a development finance institution with 67 member countries. One goal of the funding is to help M-CRIL expand in Cambodia, China, Indonesia and Nepal. ADB Principal Investment Specialist Anshukant Taneja said the investment will

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: MicroFinanza Rating Issues 10 Institutional, Social Ratings

During February 2017, Italy-based MicroFinanza Rating issued “microfinance institutional ratings” to the following institutions, all with stable outlooks: Indonesia’s Komida, which was assigned a grade of BB; Albania’s NOA, which earned a BBB; Haiti’s ACME, which was assigned a BB+; Vietnam’s Anh Chi Em (ACE), which got a BB-; and two institutions that each received an A-,

MICROFINANCE PUBLICATION ROUND-UP: How the Private Sector Can Boost Economic Growth in Sub-Saharan Africa; the Role of Impact Investing in Achieving SDGs in Africa; Documenting Reforms to “Doing Business”

Entreprenante Afrique; by Jean-Michel Severino and Jérémy Hajdenberg; published in French by Odile Jacob; September 2016; 288 pages; available for purchase at: https://play.google.com/store/books/details?id=_vslDQAAQBAJ&rdid=book-_vslDQAAQBAJ&rdot=1&source=gbs_vpt_buy&pcampaignid=books_booksearch_atb

Jean-Michel Severino and Jérémy Hajdenberg argue that the 5-percent average annual growth rate Sub-Saharan Africa has experienced since 2000 is being driven significantly by the region’s small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: JazzCash Mobile Money Users in Pakistan to Gain Access to Merchants Accepting Visa Cards

JazzCash, a mobile money service of Pakistan-based cellular phone network Mobilink, and Visa, a US-based payment technology company, recently announced that JazzCash Mobile Account customers will be able to make purchases from the millions of merchants worldwide that accept Visa payment cards, including approximately 50,000 retail outlets in Pakistan.

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Bangladeshi Farmers to Receive Microloans via Credit Cards Arranged by CARE Bangladesh, DAM, mPower, USAID

The Agricultural Extension Support Activity (AESA) of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), which is implemented by the Bangladesh-based nonprofit Dhaka Ahsania Mission (DAM), is piloting an initiative to provide smallholder farmers with loans via bank cards.

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Indian Banks Deceptively Reduce Number of Zero-Balance Accounts Under Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana Financial Inclusion Effort

Although the proportion of zero-balance bank accounts opened under India’s Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana (PMJDY) program was reduced from 76 percent in January 2015 to 24 percent as of September 2016, it recently has been reported that this is not due to customer deposits.

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Microfinance Institutions in Pakistan to be Registered as Non-Banking Financial Companies, Regulated by Securities and Exchange Commission

The Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) recently announced plans to bring all non-deposit taking microfinance institutions (MFIs) and related nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) under the non-banking finance company (NBFC) framework in an effort to improve the regulation and monitoring of their activities.

MICROFINANCE PAPER WRAP-UP: 2016 Brookings Financial and Digital Inclusion Project Report; by John Villasenor, Darrell West, Robin Lewis

“The 2016 Brookings Financial and Digital Inclusion Project Report Advancing Equitable Financial Ecosystems;” by John D. Villasenor, Darrell M. West and Robin J. Lewis; published by the Center for Technology Innovation at the Brookings Institution; August 2016; 146 pages;

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Australian Government, ANZ Bank, PFIP to Connect Solomon Islands’ Coconut Farmers to Mobile Banking

The Australian government; the Australia and New Zealand (ANZ) Bank, a publicly traded commercial bank; and the Pacific Financial Inclusion Program (PFIP), a Fiji-based initiative of the United Nations that attempts to extend financial services to unbanked Pacific Islanders, recently started a program with a budget of SBD 5 million (USD 650,000) to connect rural coconut oil producers, laborers, buyers and transport operators in the Solomon Islands with digital financial services.