Following last week’s Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, we’re exploring updates in the mobile technology space and the potential impact on emerging markets. Availability of mobile money: What does the global industry landscape look like in 2014? by Jennifer Frydrych on GSMA At last week’s Mobile World Congress, GSMA’s Mobile Money for the Unbanked (MMU) released its 2014 State of the Industry Report on Mobile Financial Services. Frydrych, researcher and author of the report, discusses … read more

Financial inclusion is a key component in reducing poverty in emerging markets. To successfully provide financial services to all, it important to reflect on the performance of financial products and services, their impact to date, and to identify trends that will affect the future of the sector. Eight trends that will impact financial inclusion in 2015 by John Ownes on AFI The use of digital financial services has been, and will continue to be, one … read more

Are we moving as far and fast as we think? FI2020’s E-Zine says no by Susy Cheston on CFI Blog

The second edition of the Financial Inclusion 2020 Round-up 2014 e-magazine looks at progress toward financial inclusion in the year following the FI2020 Global Forum. Last year, a roadmap to Financial Inclusion was presented at the forum, consisting of five focus areas: Technology, Financial Capability, Addressing Customer Needs, Client Protection, and Credit Reporting. Since then, … read more

Over the years, with the introduction of innovations like microcredit and mobile money, Financial Inclusion for the world’s poor has made significant strides. To continue this forward movement, players must look at different approaches to the problem and create innovative solutions while continuing to evaluate and support solutions already in place.

The Next Stage of Financial Inclusion by Dean Karlan on SSIR

In a perfect world, we would never have to think about finance. It … read more

You can’t invest in emerging markets without addressing financial inclusion. Between ICT innovations allowing for digital payments from pay as you go energy, financial inclusion is an effort we all must address in order to successfully create an impact.

The Next Frontier of Financial Services  James Militzer on Next Billion

Financial inclusion efforts usually center around savings and credit, but Jeremy Leach, director of Bankable Frontier Associates, believes that insurance and microinsurance is the next … read more

The Mobile Financial Service industry has made financial inclusion possible for millions in developing nations. Today, there is an opportunity to integrate mobile money into agriculture development with the potential to benefit farmers, buyers and mobile money providers. Below is a series of articles by Lee Babcock, digital finance thought leader, suggesting the best way to jumpstart mobile payments in the agriculture sector.

Three Steps to Jumpstart Agriculture Mobile Payments by Lee Babcock on Next read more

The mobile money industry continues to grow in the developing world, offering financial inclusion to the masses that were previously without access to financial services. Below are a few recent articles highlighting exciting developments in the industry.

Mobile Money Continues to Penetrate Africa by Emmanuel Iruobe on Ventures Africa

According to an industry report by the Global System for Mobile Association (GSMA), the mobile money industry is continuing to expand across more regions in Africa. … read more

Remittances and mobile money have played a big role in promoting financial inclusion in emerging markets. Currently it’s a market dominated by big players like Western Union, but more and more often we’re seeing localized startups like Remit in Uganda looking to make financial services even easier and more inclusive.

Safaricom Deal to Allow Diaspora to Send Money to M-Pesa Accounts” by Chris Udemans on HumanIPO

The growth of mobile technology has had … read more

Developing countries received over $400 billion in remittances in 2012 according to a World Bank (see our infographic on remittances here). This is a great example of how mobile money has changed the way people send money by making it easier and safer. This week, we read many stories detailing both progress and challenges in the sector. We are always looking for innovative entrepreneurs that piggyback on the success of mobile money to provide … read more

The increase in remittances and money transfers poses an interesting challenge to mobile and banking technologies. We are always looking for the newest innovations in mobile tech for the BSP Fund. Here are some of the stories that caught our attention in remittances and mobile technology this week.

Remittances to Africa carry a high price tag by Tosin Sulaiman on Reuters

As the official remittance flow to Africa has increased to a record $60.4 … read more

We are always researching the latest innovations in mobile technology for potential investments for the BSP Fund. Here are some of the stories that caught our attention in mobile technology and mobile money.

How can financial services work best for the poor? by Anna Scott on The Guardian
In order to develop a service that effectively serves a poor population, it is necessary to consider their needs. The product should be designed around the … read more

Around the world, businesses both big (like Nokia) and small (like Wari and Mi-Fone) are working in emerging markets to deliver mobile phone products and services tailored directly to local demand. From long-lasting battery life to the continued expansion of mobile money services, mobile continues to present new opportunities for innovation.… read more

To date, we’ve introduced both the benefits and the inefficiencies of informal savings groups. Today, we’ll share how mobile technology can improve informal savings groups. Injecting the benefits of mobile money, increased communication, and innovative apps into the savings group model can displace the inefficiencies that exist in trust, convenience, and security. Importantly, mobile technology does not compromise the intrinsic benefits of the savings groupsread more

Every week, we read dozens of articles on our favorite industry trends and relate to our investment thesis. We pick the most popular trend from the week and share the top articles along with our thoughts.

This week, we read about the work that organizations and businesses are doing around the world to enhance, promote, and leverage the benefits of mobile.… read more

Every week, we read dozens of articles on our favorite industry trends and relate to our investment thesis. We pick the most popular trend from the week and share the top articles along with our thoughts.

In a follow up to our recent post on financial inclusion, this week we turned to our favorite industry blogs and mainstream media to see what they’re saying this week on the topic. We’ve included posts and articles from … read more

How can mobile money be used to incentivize savings? Mobile money, if executed correctly, can extend financial inclusion to include savings capabilities as well as transfer and payments.  We’re looking at some examples of that this week.… read more

In our recent post, Africa’s Big Three, we compared Nigeria – Africa’s third largest economy – to South Africa and Egypt – the first and second largest, respectively. We discovered that added mobile penetration could boost Nigeria’s GDP to outgrow Egypt’s by 2020. This prediction is a result of increased mobile penetration and its positive effects on economic growth. In this post, we’re following up on our prediction with a discussion of another benefit of … read more

2012 is going to be a big year for mobile money and financial inclusion. Below we highlight a few of the stories describing the increased adoption of mobile money (beyond Kenya) and the continued growth of financial inclusion and other benefits offered through mobile phones.

A Mobile Money Wish List for 2012” by Will Mutua on Afrinnovator
As a follow up to Mbwana Alliy’s prediction that increased mobile money services in Africa … read more

Last week we introduced this series that will highlight the different ways mobile phones can combat poverty. This week, we will discuss the first example of a poverty-fighting mobile transaction system. Mobile money transfer services provide financial inclusion benefits for the unbanked, and are the most heralded impact of mobile penetration.


Mobile Money Transactions

Perhaps the most well-known mobile transaction systems that engage the base of the pyramid are mobile money transactions. The various flavors read more
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Banks and mobile network operators are working in an environment that is constantly evolving with the addition of new competitors, new regulations (or lack thereof), and new markets. The mobile payments world in emerging markets is experiencing explosive growth and widespread support, as evidenced in the following articles.

First universal mobile payments platform goes live” on Mobile Money Africa
Luup is now providing universal mobile payment systems through a combination of Microsoft … read more

There’s never a shortage of news surrounding mobile technology. This week we read about new applications and smartphones, mobile money launching in Liberia and Zimbabwe, and the changes in the relationships between banks and telcos because of the growing popularity in mobile payments globally.

Samsung launches Galaxy S II in Kenya” by Stewart Chabwinja via IT News Africa

There has been speculation that smartphones, which are coming down in price, will penetrate the … read more