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Jan 2015
Card Payments Drop as Mobile Money Use Grows in Kenya
January, 26 2015
Kenya - Payments made using plastic cards dipped by a fifth in 11 months to November last year as mobile phone-based payments ate into commercial banks’ business ...
AML/CFT: Balancing Regulation with Innovation
January, 23 2015
Global - A critical challenge to extending financial services to poor populations – via digital or other channels – is identity verification ...
Bill and Melinda Gates Want to Fix Another Messy Global Problem: Banking
January, 22 2015
Global - "By 2030, two billion people who don’t have a bank account today will be storing money and making payments with their phones. And by then, mobile money providers will be offering the full range of financial services, from interest-bearing savings accounts to credit to insurance. ...
India: Satin Creditcare Raises $10 Million in Foreign Debt
January, 22 2015
India - Delhi-based Satin Creditcare has raised $10 million, or about Rs 618 crore, in foreign debt, joining a rising group of microfinance firms raising money from abroad to diversify their funding sources. ...
The GSMA Code of Conduct for Mobile Money Providers: Does it Go Far Enough to Protect Consumers?
January, 21 2015
Global - The recently launched GSM Association Code of Conduct for Mobile Money Providers is a welcome initiative. There is increasing recognition of the economic benefits that digital financial services can bring, along with an understanding that achieving ambitious financial inclusion targets may well depend on their rapid rollout ...
Pakistan: Rural Poor Farmers - Call to Develop Innovative Ways to Encourage Financial Inclusion
January, 21 2015
Pakistan - Professor Mookherjee shared that TRAIL approach yielded better results as compared to Group-Based Lending in terms of loan take-off preferences, timely repayment, impact on production and profit of the small farmers. ...
Uganda Gets Loan
January, 21 2015
Uganda - Uganda has secured a $29 million loan from the International Fund for Agriculture Development (IFAD) to pay for financial inclusion in Rural Areas(PROFIRA) ...
Rosario Perez, President and CEO, Pro Mujer: 5 Ways Low-income Women Are Challenging Microfinance Paradigms in Latin America
January, 20 2015
Latin America - This might seem obvious, but in day-to-day discourse, it can be easy to forget that clients seek out microfinance and development for different reasons and at different stages of their lives ...
Josephine d'Allant, Managing Editor, URB.im: Reaching the Hardest-to-reach - Financial Services for Overlooked Populations
January, 20 2015
Global - The growth of microfinance solutions to address pressing development challenges has brought many of the world's formerly "unbanked" into formal financial systems. However, one group continually remains outside the system - the poorest of the poor ...
Financial Inclusion Trends and Innovators Already Lighting up 2015: The Most Exciting Technologies and Startups in Inclusive Finance this Year
January, 20 2015
Global - Bold ideas for financial services innovation are getting more visibility- just this month, Australian Wealth Index (AWI) listed the 50 Best FinTech Innovators, and CFI’s Elisabeth Rhyne conveniently categorized the list so it’s easy to see at a glance where the innovations are ...
Beth deBeer, Marina Leytes and Abigail Noble: Impact Investing and the Role of Family Offices
January, 19 2015
Global - Family offices are unique as investors: They have a significant volume of assets under management, autonomy and flexibility in making investment decisions (compared to other asset owners), and a growing desire to align wealth and values. All of this positions them as catalytic among asset owners within impact investing ...
Westbridge, Existing Investors Invest In Housing Finance Company India Shelter Finance
January, 19 2015
India - Westbridge Capital along with existing investors, Sequoia Capital and Nexus Venture, is infusing $30 Mn (c.R180 Cr) in housing finance company, India Shelter Finane Corporation ...
Why 2015 Will Be Important for Financial Inclusion in India
January, 19 2015
India - The year 2015 could be a watershed year for India in its quest to provide access to a wide range of financial services to all its citizens. ...
Social Investors, Social Activists and Social Ventures Talk Back: What’s Happening in MENA?
January, 19 2015
Middle East and North Africa - In analyzing the capital flow for social enterprises, the picture behind this reality around the world adjusts depending on what region you go to. In the western markets such as the U.S. or Europe, capital structures are becoming more inclusive for social enterprises. But what’s happening in regions such as MENA ...
Benin’s Expansion of Digital Finance
January, 16 2015
Benin - The market for digital financial services in Benin is nascent. With an adult population of approximately 6.5 million, it is fairly small compared to countries like Cote d’Ivoire and Senegal where big players seem to have focused most of their efforts to date. There are currently three providers of mobile money in Benin reaching close to 500,000 mobile money users, approximately 10% of whom are active. ...
Expert: Belarus' Microfinance Market Will Be Growing More Professional
January, 16 2015
Belarus - In 2015, the National Bank expects to complete the formation of a full legal framework in the field of microfinance ...
India: IFC to Raise Stake in Bandhan Finance
January, 16 2015
India - International Finance Corporation (IFC) is picking up more stake in Bandhan Financial Services, the only new bank licensee from east, for Rs 580 crore ...
Nigeria: Accion Attains National MFB Status, Gives Out N32bn Loans
January, 16 2015
Nigeria - Accion Microfinance Bank Limited has upgraded to the category of a national microfinance bank (MFB). By this development, the bank said, it has surpassed the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) requirements for a national MFB ...
Lisa Chase, Sohel Karim and Kasturi Rangan: The Truth about CSR
January, 15 2015
Global - To maximize their positive impact on the social and environmental systems in which they operate, companies must develop coherent CSR strategies. This should be an essential part of the job of every CEO and board ...
Zambia: ‘Limiting Interest Rates Negative on MFIs’
January, 15 2015
Zambia - Association of Microfinance Institutions of Zambia (AIMZ) president Webby Mate has said the capping of interest rates has put pressure on MFIs to cut costs to remain profitable ...
Jami Solli, Executive Director, Global Alliance for Legal Aid: Responsible Investors Needed in Weak Microfinance Markets
January, 14 2015
Global - The importance of informed, responsible investors is critical given the frequent failure of other stakeholders to protect borrowers from abusive practices by microfinance institutions (MFIs). The multiple microfinance debacles over the years are indicators of widespread regulatory failure ...
Brazilian Development Bank Approves Loan of $100 Million for Northeast Bank
January, 14 2015
Brazil - The Brazilian Development Bank (BNDES) approved financing of $100 million to Northeast Bank. The funds are for the micro credit operations for individual and corporate entrepreneurs, small productive activities ...
Philippines: BSP Offers Perks to Banks Branching Out to Unserved Areas
January, 14 2015
The Philippines - Regulators have unveiled fresh incentives that aim to goad local banks into setting up shop in more than 1,600 cities and municipalities around the country that still lack access to formal financial services ...
MasterCard and Movistar Launch Peruvian Mobile Money Service
January, 14 2015
Peru - With the goal of promoting financial and social inclusion in Peru, Movistar, in alliance with MasterCard, has announced the launch of “Your Mobile Money” (Tu Dinero Movil), the first electronic money service in Peru, which will offer users significant savings in their money transfers ...
Venture Capital Investors Plan $2 Billion New Funds for Indian Startups
January, 13 2015
India - Overall investments hit an all time high of $2.1 billion in 2014, nearly 50% more than the previous year, and the momentum is expected to continue this year, both in seed and mature companies. ...
Nigeria: BOI Earmarks N19.8bn for MSMEs Funding in States
January, 13 2015
Nigeria - The Bank of Industry (BOI) has earmarked the sum of N19.8 billion to fund micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in states across the federation ...
India: E-wallets - Money on the Move
January, 13 2015
India - Telecom operators, supermarket chains, electronic wallets and prepaid instrument players can open these payment banks to accept deposits, offer basic saving facilities and provide remittance services for millions of people who are currently out of the digital financial system ...
Scott McMillan, Communication and Outreach Manager, Brac USA: Bangladesh - A Pioneering Technique is Helping the Hardest to Reach
January, 12 2015
Bangladesh - How do we reach the people at the bottom of the ladder? They are often the hardest to help, but pioneering work in Bangladesh is achieving genuine progress ...
India: Ujjivan Gets Rs 600cr in Biggest Microfin Deal
January, 12 2015
India - UK's Commonwealth Development Corporation (CDC), private equity investors CX Partners, Newquest and a unit of Bajaj Group are leading a Rs 600-crore investment in Ujjivan Financial Services, clinching the single largest funding deal in India's microfinance sector, sources directly familiar with the matter said ...
SRI: Ethics Beyond the Wall Street Walk
January, 11 2015
Global - Since the economic crisis, the financial services industry has been under pressure to prove it is a good global citizen. There is a way it may be able to justify its existence in 2015: it can now say with some credibility that responsible investing has gone mainstream ...
Pakistan: PMN Survey - Poor Security Dampens Microfinance Industry
January, 11 2015
Pakistan - According to a recent survey by the Pakistan Microfinance Network (PMN) titled “Risks to Microfinance in Pakistan,” the poor security situation is the top-most concern of the microfinance industry after macroeconomic trends ...
India: Postal Bank Wins Government Backing
January, 11 2015
India - The government is looking to take the legislative route by next month to finalise the setting up of the Postal Bank of India and will soon approach the RBI to consider the postal department's application for a banking licence ...
Niaz Asadullah and Zaki Wahhaj: Bangladesh’s Politicians Should Keep Their Hands off Grameen Bank
January, 09 2015
Bangladesh - Bangladesh has improved its rank in this year’s Global Gender Gap report, moving from 75 in 2013 to 68 in 2014. Much of its progress in improving gender equality over the years is owed to the inclusive model of social development that has seen NGOs working side by side with the state for four decades ...
When Clients Inspire Product Design
January, 09 2015
India - The Indian microfinance sector has long been criticized for following a one-size-fits-all approach to products and significantly under-investing in innovation. The primary reason for this is a perception that product customization for the poor is a cost, rather than a strategic investment ...
Kirstin Lacy, Director of Monitoring, Evaluations and Grants at Seilla Nueva: Who Asks the Question May Be as Important as the Question Itself
January, 09 2015
Global - Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) has moved into the mainstream of the development industry, as seen by foundations like the Inter-American Foundation and Conservation, Food & Health requiring the incorporation of rigorous M&E structures in their grants ...
Social Stock Exchanges – Do We Need Them?
January, 09 2015
Global - While securities exchanges have been facilitating financial market transactions for centuries, the first social stock exchanges were officially launched only recently. So what are they? Are they working? And do we need them ...
EIB Increases Its Support for Croatian SMEs
January, 08 2015
Croatia - The European Investment Bank is lending EUR 20 million loan to Privredna Banka Zagreb d.d. to co-finance projects of SMEs and midcap companies ...
International Finance Corporation (IFC) Purchases Entire $42m Issuance of Bonds by Rural Microfinance Institution Bancamía of Colombia
January, 08 2015
Colombia - Mr Carlos Leiria Pinto, IFC’s head for the Andean region, added that “this financing demonstrates our support for expanding access to financial services for microentrepreneurs in Colombia and deepening the country’s capital markets”. ...
Shelter Afrique, the Pan African Finance Institution Signs Sh4.5 Billion Deal
January, 08 2015
Africa - Shelter Afrique, the Pan African finance institution exclusively supporting the development of affordable housing and real estate in Africa has penned a $50 million (Sh4.5b) finance deal with KfW, the German Development Bank ...
Mal Warwick, Paul DiLeo, and Paul Polak: Do Impact Investors Expect Too Much?
January, 07 2015
Global - It’s time for businesses that seek funds from impact investors to establish benchmarks and metrics for the economic and social impact they seek to accomplish—and for impact investors to engage in some serious soul-searching if they find themselves looking only at how much profit they can extract ...
Can Post-Ebola West Africa Go the Way of South Asia, from Aid to Enterprise?
January, 07 2015
Africa - It's worth remembering that countries have recovered from such disasters, both natural and man-made. They have even found within them opportunities for rebirth and prosperity, using strategies like microfinance to make the journey from grant-based aid to commercially sustainable enterprises ...
European Fund for Southeast Europe (EFSE) Loans $8.3m in Local Currency to Patria Credit of Romania
January, 07 2015
Romania - The aim of the loan is to fund small business ventures, microenterprises and small-scale farmers located in rural areas of Romania ...
Bangladesh: What if we Gave Microcredit to Tech Talent in Developing Countries?
January, 07 2015
Bangladesh - Outsourcing things like call center work and data entry to developing countries has been a trend for a long time, but those are mostly low-skill, low-paying jobs ...
Egypt: Companies’ Micro-financing Faces New Regulations - EFSA Head
January, 05 2015
Egypt - The Egyptian Financial Supervisory Authority (EFSA) Board issued a Resolution 172/2014 Sunday regulating the conditions of microfinance companies’ activities. ...
India: The Urban Hurdle
January, 05 2015
India - While the government’s mandate is often linked to the rural markets, the challenge of financial empowerment is equally daunting in urban India, where 13.8 per cent of the population is below the poverty line ...
India: Microfinance Sees Rapid Loan Growth
January, 04 2015
India - According to RBI data, credit flow from commercial banks to NBFCs has so far seen a year-on-year growth of 7 per cent with priority sector lending rising 16 per cent ...
India: Phase I of Jan Dhan Target Achieved, Says Arun Jaitley
January, 03 2015
India - India has managed to achieve its first phase of financial inclusion by opening bank accounts for more than 7.5 crore families a month ahead of schedule and inching closer to ensuring accounts to all 24 crore families in the country, finance minister Arun Jaitley said ...
Bangladesh: Lead MFIs Envisaged for Taking Anti-poverty Drive into Top Gear
January, 03 2015
Bangladesh - A government move is now in top gear for introducing Lead MFI (micro-finance institution) System to coordinate poverty-reduction programmes at the root level. ...
The Role of Socially Responsible Investment in Economic Uncertainty
January, 01 2015
Global - Given that a growing number of the public now agree that big issues like climate change, dwindling natural resources and population growth will have a negative impact on the global economy the question becomes not whether charities can afford to invest along SRI lines, but whether they can afford not to ...
India: Deadline to Apply for Small, Payments Bank Licences Extended
January, 01 2015
India - The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has extended the deadline for the submission of applications to open small finance banks and payments banks to 2 February from 16 January, in view of the “request seeking extension” from applicants, the central bank said on its website on Thursday ...

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