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May 2015
Four Ways Energy Access Can Propel Financial Inclusion
May, 26 2015
Africa - In urban areas, evidence suggests that utility payments are a main driver of ongoing mobile wallet usage ...
Zimbabwe: Financial Support for SMEs Essential
May, 21 2015
Zimbabwe - ZIMBABWE's economy has gone through structural changes over the past four years, with the small to medium enterprises and informal sectors now dominating the economic landscape. Of late, policymakers and economic commentators have been talking about the shift and we think it is time to make sense of it ...
India: When Reality Bites, Better Sense Prevails
May, 21 2015
India - Despite lower than expected returns, financial inclusion, especially microfinance, continues to dominate impact investments. ...
B. Hwang, Grameen Foundation and F. Wasswa, Pride Microfinance: How Do You Know You are Really Reaching the Poor?
May, 21 2015
Global - Though many microfinance institutions (MFIs) operate in impoverished areas, they often have little or no objective poverty data on the clients they have reached. Instead, their social performance management relies on assumptions ...
Findex: Sub-Saharan Africa Continues to Be the Leading Frontier of Financial Inclusion
May, 21 2015
Africa - Half of the world's population lives and works in the informal economy - not by choice, but by necessity. In the language of economists, poor families in developing countries are consumption-smoothing households and capital-consuming, self-employed entrepreneurs at the same time. ...
Can Banks Really Meet the Financial Needs of the Poor?
May, 20 2015
Global - We often talk about whether banking the poor can be profitable, as though that’s the only thing stopping banks from providing the financial services the poor need. But in reality, the bigger challenge is that standard consumer financial services simply won’t do. ...
Microfinance System Provider Oradian Raises Seed Round
May, 20 2015
Global - The company offering cloud-based software to MFIs better manage their data, saving time and mone ...
Girish Nair, Senior Operations Officer, World Bank Group: India - Jan Dhan Hits Customer Service Barrier
May, 20 2015
India - Creating new accounts is not enough. Banks’ behaviour towards low income clients is a major roadbloc ...
Concerns Over 'Remittance Super Racket' in Africa
May, 20 2015
Africa - Global mobile money transfer service WorldRemit has voiced its concern in the media about a potential merger between rival service providers MoneyGram and Western Union, saying it would potentially create a duopoly and lead to overcharging within the mobile money industry in some regions in Africa. ...
Nigeria’s Unicem Partners On Affordable Housing Project
May, 19 2015
Nigeria - Unicem is collaborating with leading Nigerian microfinance bank LAPO on an affordable housing project in the country. The ‘Easy Home’ scheme was launched to support individual homebuilders, together with low and middle income earners who wish to build or renovate their own homes. ...
Kenya’s Million Dollar Bitcoin Startup BitPesa Expands to Tanzania
May, 19 2015
Africa - Kenyan bitcoin startup BitPesa is expanding to neighbouring Tanzania about a year after it launched its mobile-friendly digital currency exchange. Since then, the innovative company has raised a total of US$1.8-million from international investors and is slowly but surely expanding across Africa with other emerging markets in its sights as well. ...
Dileep Rao, Independant Consultant: Do We Need Banks or the SBA When Online Micro-financiers Can Do Better?
May, 19 2015
Global - The average Kiva lender supposedly lends money to borrowers around the world (many of whom are low-income and most of whom cannot get money from banks) and loses less money than the hardest-nosed financiers in America ...
Lafarge launches 'Housing Microfinance Academy' in India
May, 19 2015
India - Lafarge, a leader in building materials, launched the Indian chapter of 'Housing Microfinance Academy' in Mumbai earlier this week. ...
Azerbaijan’s Mail Ready to Start Microlending in Regions
May, 19 2015
Azerbaijan - The Azerbaijan’s Ministry of Communications and High Technologies (RYTN) announced expansion of its credit practices. ...
IMTFI Researchers: Mexico - Juggling Currencies in Transborder Contexts; Field Notes from Sabinilla and Calexico (Part 1)
May, 18 2015
Mexico - Mexican and bi-national families residing and/or working on both sides of the Mexican-American border experience and manage different monetary and social currencies, not only in peso-dollar exchanges, but also in transactions involving different means of equivalence that entail diverse normative and cultural frameworks. ...
Focusing on the Poorest: What Does the Research Tell Us?
May, 18 2015
Global - A new article in Science explains that the Graduation Approach is not only impressive, but has a lasting impact on the lives of the poorest ...
Tony O. Elumelu, Chairman, United Bank for Africa: Entrepreneur-led Development - A New Model for Africa
May, 18 2015
Africa - African companies like Dangote Cement, South African telecommunications firm MTN and the United Bank for Africa, which I chair, are creating hundreds of thousands of jobs across Africa, working to provide essential services like mobile phones, infrastructure and banking while integrating the continent ...
India's Bad Loans Situation May Not Have Peaked Yet, Says RBI Chief
May, 14 2015
India - India's banking system may not yet have seen the peak in bad loans, the Reserve Bank of India Governor Raghuram Rajan said on Thursday, adding the central bank was working with lenders to recognise and resolve these non-performing assets ...
Insurance: Future is Micro and Mobile
May, 14 2015
Africa - Telecoms companies are redefining Africa's insurance landscape, using their brand recognition and wide customer reach to offer micro-insurance products to the tens of millions of uninsured Africans ...
Latin America: Harnessing Social Impact Investing
May, 13 2015
Latin America - For many, Latin America is associated with a laundry list of negatives: drugs, corruption, gang violence and transnational crime. However, our new report Harnessing Social Impact Investing in Latin America, helps to dispel some of these myths. In fact, in the realm of social impact investing, it is on the forefront of rapidly-changing global trends ...
New GSMA Report Finds that Latin America and the Caribbean Have Fastest Growth in Mobile Financial Services Globally
May, 13 2015
South America - Region Experiencing 50 Per Cent Growth Rate in New Registered Mobile Money Accounts, With 37 Services Live in 19 Countries ...
Kenya's Mobile Finance Revolution Takes the Next Steps: Two New Developments Go Far beyond Mobile Money
May, 12 2015
Kenya - Beyond the celebration of M-PESA’s remarkable payments revolution, and the continued growth of M-Shwari’s mobile banking services, there are two other important developments in the Kenyan market ...
Sudan: Will US$50 Million Help Microfinance Institutions Combat Poverty?
May, 12 2015
Sudan - The first phase will fund small and micro projects through 4 microfinance institutions providing funds for customers in the localities of Khartoum State and other (11) state institutions that providing finance for microfinance customers in most of the other States of the Sudan including (Sinnar, North and South Kordofan, White Nile, River Nile, Gezira, and East and South Darfur) ...
How Mobile Money Is Saving Africa $2bn Annually
May, 12 2015
Africa - UK-based think thank, Overseas Development Institute (ODI), in a 2014 report noted that Africans in diaspora pay an average of 12 percent to money transmitters to send $200 home. This is a far-cry from the global average of 7.8 percent and more than double the 5 percent target set by the G8 ...
Thaïland: Siam Commercial Bank Mulls Moving into Nano-finance if TCG Agrees to Partner
May, 11 2015
Thaïland - Siam Commercial Bank is conducting a feasibility study into nano-finance, which it is considering introducing as a new business segment for the bank ...
Nigeria: Cement Firm Partners Microfinance Bank on 5,000 New Homes Quantity
May, 11 2015
Nigeria - A NEW deal has been sealed between a cement firm, Messrs United Cement Company of Nigeria (UNICEM) and microfinance bank for the building of 5,000 new housing units in the country ...
Daniel Rozas and David Roodman, MIMOSA Project: Too Good to Be True? - Is the Global Findex Survey Overstating Growth in Financial Inclusion?
May, 11 2015
Global - U.S. unbanked population drops from 12 percent to 6 percent in 2011-14; Eurozone cuts number of unbanked from 9 percent to 5 percent, according to report ...
India: Schemes for Poor Are Fine but Why Is Government Not Addressing Banks' Quality, Cost Concerns
May, 11 2015
India - Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his team at the NDA government deserve their due share of credit for initiating efforts to bring a large segment of India’s population to insurance, pension cover at cheaper cost, even as the Congress is crying foul of repacking old UPA ideas ...
Can Technology Push Microinsurance Further? 4 Reasons to Say Yes
May, 08 2015
Global - The extensive use of mobile phones in developing countries has created data on customers’ finances and spending patterns for sections of the population that did not previously have a financial track record. ...
Relief Through Finance: How Microfinance Builds Resilience to Disasters And Crises
May, 08 2015
Nepal - While there is an important role for those organisations, there is also a vital role for the financial services industry in helping people rebuild their lives. Microfinance can be genuinely transformative in this respect ...
Are Small Businesses Being Overlooked in the Fight Against Poverty?
May, 07 2015
Global - We know that in low-income countries 78% of the formal workforce is employed through small firms. As these businesses grow, they provide better-quality jobs. While the majority will stay small, the ones that do grow can have an exponential impact on job-creation, which means steadier incomes and better access to critical goods and services for their communities ...
Heather Franzese, Executive Director, Good World Solutions: Mobile in Microfinance - Not Just Mobile Payments
May, 07 2015
Global - Two years ago, some folks in the microfinance industry asked if we might take our experience of giving factory workers an anonymous channel to report on working conditions and apply that to microfinance borrowers or "clients" in countries like India and Peru ...
VISA Pushes for Financial Inclusion in the Philippines
May, 07 2015
Philippines - The multinational financial services company pushes for financial inclusion under its corporate social responsibility (CSR) arm. It cites that financial inclusion is about bringing more people into the formal financial system – a global imperative for governments, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and the private sector ...
Graham Seel, The Norman Group: Financial Inclusion Will Require Simplicity
May, 06 2015
Global - Can we reach full financial inclusion in 5 years? Given the World Bank FI2020 goals, apparently our world leaders think the answer is yes. But those of us working in the commercial banking segment see all sorts of barriers to financial viability. Just what would it take ...
Islamic Microfinance Unlocking Big Potential
May, 05 2015
Global - Garment factory workers walk along a road during their lunch break in the Savar district of Dhaka, Bangladesh. So far, Islamic microfinance is centred on just a few countries, with the top three Indonesia, Bangladesh and Afghanistan accounting for 80% market share globally ...
Pakistan: Parsing Low Banking Penetration
May, 05 2015
Pakistan - In Pakistan, the data show, only about 5 percent of women hold a bank account. This is extremely low compared to 83 percent of women who have a bank account in Sri Lanka, 76 percent in China, 43 percent in India, 37 percent in South Asia (average) and 26 percent in Bangladesh ...
Tajikistan: Banking and Microfinance Expansion Drives Economic Development
May, 05 2015
Tajikistan - Microfinance stands out as the sub-sector that has made a meaningful impact on the country’s development, often undertaken with the involvement of foreign partners and investors ...
Zimbabwe: DPC Seeks MicroKing Suitors
May, 04 2015
Zimbabwe - The Deposit Protection Corporation (DPC) is inviting interested companies to buy the entire shareholding in MicroKing, a microfinance unit for AfrAsia Zimbabwe Holdings ...
Impact Investing is Changing Lives, Not Finances
May, 03 2015
Global - So-called impact investing, which aims to provide a tangible social benefit as well as a financial return, is excelling at improving lives, even if the monetary returns are softening, according to analysis of 143 large investors ...
Housing Microfinance: Panacea for Nigeria’s Housing Deficit
May, 02 2015
Nigeria - Housing microfinance otherwise known as microfinance for housing or incremental financing, is regarded as the application of a microfinance based approach to housing finance. While the concept ‘housing microfinance’ is relatively new in development circles, the practice is not ...
JP Morgan & GIIN Survey Highlights Higher Impact Investment Commitments
May, 02 2015
Global - Widespread commitment to allocate 19% more capital to impact investments in 2014 compared to 2013 revealed by JP Morgan and the Global Impact Investing Network (GIIN) survey. ...
Rupert Scofield, Co-founder and CEO of FINCA Microfinance: The Evolving Microfinance Revolution Has Yet to Run Its Full Course
May, 01 2015
Global - Clearly, the effectiveness of capital by itself no longer had the same transformative power it had in the “golden age” of microfinance, when it was still a scarce resource. ...

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