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Feb 2015
The Blue Oceans of FinTech in Emerging Markets
February, 26 2015
Global - Emerging markets have, to many western minds, been a place where technology trickles down. For technologies that require heavy capital investments, massive distribution costs and networks, this has and will remain to be true. ...
The Blue Oceans of FinTech in Emerging Markets
February, 26 2015
Global - Emerging markets have, to many western minds, been a place where technology trickles down. For technologies that require heavy capital investments, massive distribution costs and networks, this has and will remain to be true. But being unencumbered by existing infrastructure and customer expectations, the emerging markets also reveal a new opportunity ...
India: Options in MSME Financing
February, 26 2015
India - Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) play a major role in economic development, particularly in emerging countries. There is heightened attention by the international community on the MSME sector. This is primarily because of the critical importance of job creation in the recovery cycle following the recent financial crisis, and the MSMEs’ potentials in that respect ...
Uganda: Make Mobile Banking Relevant to Poor
February, 26 2015
Uganda - State minister for Microfinance Caroline Amali Okao has challenged digital financial services providers that their target of adding 550,000 active users by the end of this year might not succeed unless they come up with innovations that will benefit the local users. ...
Deutsche Bank Marks Milestone for USD 83 Million Microfinance Fund
February, 26 2015
Global - Deutsche Bank’s Global Social Finance Group today announced the conclusion of the seven-year investment term, and the release of an assessment report, for its innovative USD 83 million microfinance fund (the Fund). ...
MasterCard, Grooming Centre Boost Financial Inclusion for MSMEs in Nigeria
February, 25 2015
Nigeria - Over 500,000 female entrepreneurs in Nigeria are to be introduced to electronic payments under a new partnership agreed between MasterCard and local microfinance institution Grooming Centre ...
World Bank Approves New Financing for More Affordable Housing in Tanzania As Its Cities Expand
February, 25 2015
Tanzania - The World Bank Group’s Board of Executive Directors on February 24 approved $60 million in new financing from the highly-concessional International Development Association (IDA) to help Tanzania develop a viable mortgage finance market for affordable housing. ...
Indonesia: Mandiri Eyes 9,000 Agents for Branchless-banking Services
February, 23 2015
Indonesia - State-owned lender Bank Mandiri is strengthening its digital financial service across the country by increasing the number of its branchless banking agents to provide the public with wider access to finance ...
Banking Africa’s Unbanked Population Is not the Solution to Improved Inclusion
February, 23 2015
Africa - Banking Africa’s unbanked population–adults who don’t use formal banks or semi-formal microfinance institutions to save or borrow money–may not be the solution to providing wider access to financial products and services ...
Safaricom Will Reduce Investment if Kenya Moves on Dominance
February, 21 2015
Kenya - Safaricom Ltd. will cut its planned $400 million investment in East Africa’s biggest economy this year if Kenyan regulators impose penalties on the wireless carrier to limit its market dominance, its chief executive officer said ...
E Kumar Sharma, Associate Editor: India - Key Areas in Microfinance Budget 2015-16 Should Focus on
February, 20 2015
India - Associate editor E Kumar Sharma lists the key points Finance Minister Arun Jaitley should focus on when he reads out his Budget speech on February 28 ...
Ethiopia: SMEs Facing Sever Credit Constraints
February, 19 2015
Ethiopia - Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in Ethiopia have faced severe credit service constraints owing to absence of financial institutions catering them, the World Bank said on Thursday. A study by the bank released on Thursday has revealed that young and smaller firms across the country are much more likely to be rejected from line of credit and discouraged from applying for loans due to high collateral requirements ...
Consumer Protection in Microfinance Exceeds 15-Million-Client Mark
February, 19 2015
Global - The Smart Campaign, a global movement to embed a set of client-protection principles into the fabric of the microfinance industry, today announced that the number of certified microfinance institutions (MFIs) is growing rapidly, and that those MFIs certified as meeting the standards for consumer protection now serve more than 15 million clients worldwide, according to MixMarket data. ...
India: Will Payment Bank Help Mobile Financial Inclusion?
February, 19 2015
India - Mobile operators have an edge vis-a-vis banks. Banks have limited exposure to individuals in comparison to mobile companies whose exposure is wide spread and are in a better position to provide affordable financial services for millions of unbanked households. ...
What Impact Investors Can Learn from Microfinance
February, 18 2015
Global - Estimates vary widely, but 300 million people are estimated to be direct beneficiaries of the microcredit movement, and more than $68 billion may be currently invested in the industry, according to a 2010 estimate from the Consultative Group to Assist the Poor, a unit of the World Bank ...
Why Do Female Social Entrepreneurs Pay Themselves Less?
February, 18 2015
Global - Over the last 17 years, women-owned businesses have increased dramatically—a substantial 68% since 1977. In a world where women have long lived and worked in the shadows of men, entrepreneurship seems to be helping women narrow the gender gap in the workplace. Until you take a look at their paychecks ...
The Critical Role of Data in Taking Financial Inclusion to the Next Level in the Pacific
February, 18 2015
East Asia & Pacific - Central banks around the Pacific region have been at the forefront of driving financial inclusion related policies and initiatives in their respective jurisdictions. Like any other small open economy, the Pacific Island Countries (PICs) recognize the fact that significant parts of their community are underserved in relation to accessible and affordable financial services and products. ...
ILO Study: MFIs Are ‘Pathways to Decent Work’
February, 18 2015
Global - The ILO, which collaborated with 16 microfinance institutions in emerging economies, tested a range of approaches to foster social impact through the delivery of innovative financial and non-financial services. ...
Nigeria: FG Relaxes Condition for N220bn MSME Fund
February, 18 2015
Nigeria - The Federal Government has slashed the collateral requirement introduced by the Central Bank of Nigeria for banks to access the N220bn intervention fund for the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises sector from 75 per cent to 50 per cent ...
Remittances to Developing Nations to Hit $500 Billion in 2015 - U.N. Official
February, 17 2015
Global - An estimated 230 million migrants will send $500 billion in remittances to developing countries in 2015, a flow of capital expected to do more to reduce poverty than all development aid combined, a senior official of the U.N. agricultural bank said ...
Azerbaijan’s Devaluation in Disguise
February, 17 2015
Azerbaijan - On Monday 16 February, the Central Bank of Azerbaijan stated that it had abandoned its currency peg between the Azerbaijan New Manat (AZN) and the US dollar (USD) and replaced it with a dual-currency basket weighted at 70% USD and 30% in Euro. ...
Cambodia: Finance Sector Seeks to Boost Consumer Confidence
February, 17 2015
Cambodia - A number of Cambodian financial institutions, led by Canadia Bank and microfinance institution Sathapana Limited, were on hand to sign up to the voluntary code yesterday, with all firms operating in the industry encouraged to do so in the future ...
Zimbabwe Licenses First Microfinance Bank
February, 16 2015
Zimbabwe - The microfinance bank, named African Century Limited, will be a deposit taking microfinance institution and makes history by becoming the first such legal entity operating in the economy ...
Bangladesh: Grameen Bank Goes Under Full State Control Today
February, 15 2015
Bangladesh - With the tenure of the nine elected female board members having expired today, Nobel winning micro-credit organisation Grameen Bank will now be run by government-appointed board members ...
India: Manappuram Buys Microfinance Company Asirvad
February, 13 2015
India - Kerala-based gold loan company Manappuram Finance Ltd, on Friday, said it has acquired a majority stake in Chennai based micro-finance company Asirvad Micro Finance Pvt Ltd as it seeks to diversify into different financial businesses ...
Bangladesh: Turmoil Taking its Toll on Small, Medium Businesses
February, 13 2015
Bangladesh - The ongoing political turmoil continues to take its toll on the small and medium businesses who have borrowed money from micro finance institutions (MFIs) as the big MFIs have tightened their vigilance fearing the future impact on loan recovery ...
Heuristics: A Behavioral Approach to Financial Literacy Training
February, 12 2015
Global - By Microfinace Barometer estimates, over half of microfinance institutions around the world offer non-financial services. The most frequently offered service? Financial literacy training. Despite its popularity, there is little evidence whether such trainings improve microentrepreneurs’ decision-making or the actual performance of their businesses ...
Another Inconvenient Truth: Vice Pays
February, 12 2015
Global - The politically correct and socially sustainable is, though certainly laudable, not particularly profitable. Investors shunning sin stocks manage portfolios that are, on average, significantly less profitable than those possessed by shareholders without similar scruples ...
India: Jan Dhan - Smaller Banks Better Suited for Job; Modi Should Have Waited
February, 12 2015
India - At least 75 percent of the total credit of small finance banks must be lend to borrowers who qualify under the so-called priority sector category (agriculture, exports, small housing and other economically weaker sections). ...
Pakistan: 60,000 SMEs, Micro Retailers to Be Benefited
February, 12 2015
Pakistan - Bank Alfalah Limited and Punjab Beverages (PB) have signed an MoU to provide automated financial services to SME and micro retailers ...
Charan Singh, RBI Chair Professor of Economics: India - Addressing Small Industry’s Finance Drought
February, 11 2015
India - The government recently released the results of a national innovation survey based on a sample of 9001 firms, mainly micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) from different sectors spread across 26 States and five Union Territories. An important report, it helps understand innovation, benchmark innovation potential, and factors affecting it. ...
India: Mamata Launches Micro Business Credit Card to Boost MSMEs
February, 11 2015
India - With the launch of the card, the small and medium entrepreneurs would be able to avail of cash credit or loan up to Rs 5 lakh for their business activities, even without collateral security ...
WB Grants Tunisia USD 100 Million to Support Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises
February, 11 2015
Tunisia - The World Bank is making an additional loan of USD 100 million (nearly 193.2 million Tunisian dinars), available to Tunisia from Wednesday, in support to a government project for micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME). ...
New Financial Inclusion Innovation in Colombia
February, 11 2015
Colombia - Colombia is a prominent example of a country that has included financial inclusion as a priority in its national agenda since a very early stage ...
World Bank Boosts Financial Inclusion in Cameroon
February, 11 2015
Cameroon - The International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, has recently announced an advisory services agreement with Mircrofinance Institute Advans Cameroun geared at expediting the rate of financial inclusion in Cameroon by expanding the range and reach of services available to underserved urban and rural populations ...
Building Corridors for Shared Prosperity: Seven Lessons from Intellecap, IFC on ‘What Works’ in International Expansion of Inclusive Businesses
February, 10 2015
Global - IFC (World Bank Group), in partnership with Intellecap, released a new report “Corridors for Shared Prosperity” at the Sankalp Africa Summit in Nairobi last week. The report is a repository of knowledge about “what works” in successful replication of businesses and presents a framework for systematic transfer ...
IFC, Imon International to Expand MSME Finance in Tajikistan
February, 10 2015
Tajikistan - The International Finance Corporation (IFC) has mobilized $16.5 million, including $5 million from its own account, for IMON International, Tajikistan’s leading microfinance institution, to boost lending to micro, small, and medium enterprises in the country’s remote and rural areas ...
Gabriella Jóźwiak, Freelance Journalist: Terrorism, Fines and Money Laundering - Why Banks Say No to Poor Customers
February, 09 2015
Global - The tightening of international banking standards is making it difficult for low-income people in the global south to get access to banking services. ...
Reefy Gets First Microfinance Licence in Egypt - Sawiris
February, 09 2015
Egypt - Egypt's first private sector microfinance lender, Reefy has obtained an official licence from the country's regulator to practice microfinance lending activities, tycoon Naguib Sawiris announced ...
Cambodia: MFIs Bank Returns on Rates - Report
February, 09 2015
Cambodia - High returns on investment and healthy interest rates are helping Cambodia’s microfinance sector continue its rapid expansion, according to Cambodia-based investment firm Mekong Strategic Partners. ...
China: Ant Financial Reportedly Nearing Financing Round with $30B Valuation
February, 09 2015
China - The financing round aims to secure official and government support to Ant Financial's ambitious plans to expand into China's vast rural e-commerce and rural finance sector ...
Vikram S. Gandhi, Founder, Asha Impact: Time for Indo-US Collaboration in Social Impact Investing - A 5-Point Agenda
February, 07 2015
India - India is a unique place to experiment with different, innovative business models - first, due to the variety and scale of the problems that the country faces, and second, because of its thriving entrepreneurial eco-system and talented social entrepreneurs willing to build businesses that help address those problems. ...
Platforms, not Products, Are the Way to Bring Financial Services to the Poor
February, 06 2015
Global - For many in the West, the idea that tech companies and financial firms are mining their internet activity to create an online “identity” for profit is seen as an invasion of privacy (paywall). It is a different story on the other side of the planet ...
Azerbaijan: EFSE and AccessBank Expand Existing Partnership
February, 06 2015
Azerbaijan - The USD 20m loan facility to AccessBank, the leading Microfinance Bank in the country, will contribute to provide more than 6,000 additional microloans to the Bank’s clients ...
Zimbabwe: Banks Miss out on Informal Sector
February, 06 2015
Zimbabwe - Zimbabwe's informal sector remains largely unbanked with only about 23,8% of players under the economic bracket with bank accounts, a new informal sector research done by the Bankers Association of Zimbabwe and the Zimbabwe Economic Policy Analysis and Research Unit says ...
Bitcoin’s Big Opportunity in Africa
February, 05 2015
Africa - While global entrepreneurs and investors have been cautiously eying the potential of bitcoin in Africa, a more aggressive homegrown breed of African startups is already experimenting in Kenya, East Africa's powerhouse economy. ...
Naomi Rothwell, Habitat for Humanity Great Britain: Housing Microfinance - An Invaluable Resource for Women in Developing World
February, 05 2015
Global - Given the conditions in slums, a home can be an important asset for women who have little else - making microfinance all the more crucial. ...
India: Impact of Small Finance Banks, Payment Banks to Be Felt in Three Years
February, 05 2015
India - The clock starts ticking now for the setting up of India's small finance banks and payment banks. Experts in the financial inclusion space feel it will take a good three years for the impact of this to be felt on the ground. ...
Ben Popper: Can Mobile Banking Revolutionize the Lives of the Poor?
February, 04 2015
Global - Mobile money is a fast-growing industry across many parts of the developing world. But can it really transform the lives of those living on just a few dollars a day ...
Rwanda: How Mobile Money Is Leading the Drive Toward a Cashless Economy
February, 04 2015
Rwanda - Since its launch in 2011, the nation's journey toward a cashless economy has registered steady progress with benefits such as reducing financial exclusion and enhancing customer experience ...
Rebooting India’s Banking Structure
February, 04 2015
India - The flurry of applications received by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) for setting up new payments and small banks is a heartening development and must be seen in the context of how the Indian banking structure is changing ...
Ethiopia Launches Mobile Money Schemes to Extend Banking Reach
February, 04 2015
Ethiopia - Ethiopian banks and microfinance firms are launching mobile money services, helping reach swathes of the population that now have little access to branches or services, the mobile technology providers and banks said ...
Jeff Tyson, Reporting Fellow, Devex: Microfinance Programs - West Africa's Next Task Force?
February, 04 2015
West Africa - Microfinance programs could play a critical role in helping Ebola affected communities in West Africa recover — and now that Sierra Leone has lifted its travel restrictions, such programs are seeking ways to get back up and running ...
Alex Counts and Camilla Nestor, Grameen Foundation: How to Make Good on Gates' Big Bets? - By Doubling Down on Bundled Solutions
February, 03 2015
Global - We believe that bundling financial services with practical information on good farming practices, both enabled through the now nearly ubiquitous mobile phone, will go further in reducing farmer poverty and increasing yields than advancing either solution alone. ...
India: Corporate Biggies Join Race for Niche Small Bank Licences
February, 03 2015
India - Reliance Industries, Aditya Birla Nuvo, Future Group and Vakrangee Ltd are among those who have applied for Payment Banks on the last date of putting in applications. A few applied to operate Small Finance Banks, including SKS Microfinance, Dewan Housing Finance and UAE Exchange ...
Cambodia: MFI Deposits Double in 2014
February, 03 2015
Cambodia - The total amount of savings at Cambodia’s deposit-taking microfinance institutions (MFIs) reached $897 million by the end of 2014, more than doubling from its 2013 base of $445 million, according to figures from the Cambodian Microfinance Association (CMA) ...
New Basel Report Documents Financial Inclusion’s Mainstreaming
February, 02 2015
Global - The report reveals the extent to which supervisory and regulatory practices are evolving in response to the emergence of new institutions, financial products and intermediation channels that service poor and low-income customers in different jurisdictions ...
India: Ind-Ra - Microfinance Sector to Grow Strongly at 24% Annually over FY15-FY19
February, 02 2015
India - The microfinance sector has made a strong come back after the Andhra Pradesh crisis and is poised to grow at a CAGR of 24% over FY15-FY19, says India Ratings & Research (Ind-Ra). ...
Myanmar: Norway to Take Stake in MFI
February, 02 2015
Myanmar - The Norwegian Investment Fund for Developing Countries (Norfund) has acquired the right to take up to a 25 percent stake in local microfinance company Myanmar Finance International ...

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