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Barriers to Basic Banking in India
May, 29 2015
India - The Indian government is promoting the Jan Dhan Yojana, Aadhaar and mobile banking – or the “JAM trinity” — as the pathway to financial inclusion. But are banks capable or even willing take on their role in this ambitious agenda? ...
Can Microfinance Finance Housing for the Most Vulnerable Populations?
May, 28 2015
Global - Microfinance has for a long time been unsuccessful in facing the barriers posed by the issue of financing housing. Today, new methods for interventions are being introduced and are opening up prospects for achieving it. Can microfinance offer this type of service in a sufficiently sustainable and massive manner ...
Cocoa Producers in Côte d’Ivoire: Cash vs. Digital
May, 28 2015
Ivory Coast - Branchless banking presents an opportunity to reduce those risks and offer financial services to this important segment of the Ivoirian economy. Since 2014, Advans Côte d’Ivoire has embarked on a project, with CGAP’s support, to eliminating the use of cash by linking cocoa producers and cooperatives to a branchless banking solution and enable payments to producers ...
Kenya Moves Beyond M-PESA
May, 27 2015
Kenya - Since the launch of M-PESA in 2007 the story of digital finance in Kenya has been synonymous with that of the story of M-PESA. However, data just released from The Helix Institute of Digital Finance shows that this now seems to be changing, which is exciting to watch ...
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 ...
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. ...
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. ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...