Weekly Review February 21 – 25

>Every week at ID we scan the web for articles that relate to what we do and what we like. This week we read a lot about the use of and mobile technology for the development of emerging markets.

Image via NextBillion.net

New Resource: CGAP Launches Branchless Banking Database” Next Billion’s Interview with Mark Pickens, CGAP
Mark Pickens is a Microfinance Specialist at The Consultative Group to Assist the Poor (CGAP). The CGAP recently compiled their research and introduced the Branchless Banking Database (available in Excel), which is a useful resource offering data about the emerging mobile money industry. Next Billion interviewed Pickens to find out more about the resource, which is useful for any social entrepreneurs, “mobile network operators, microfinance institutions, banks and policymakers” considering using mobile technology in emerging markets. Check out the database and read the full interview for more information about the study and the resource.

This post is the final piece of a five post blog series introducing the CGAP’s Agent Network Management Toolkit, the product of more than a year of extensive research on the profitability of branchless banking. The research looks at the interconnected supply chain of branchless banking, including mobile money companies like M-PESA. The newly introduced toolkit offers a financial model to analyze the cash flow of all members in the supply chain and ways to ensure that there are positive cash flows throughout the chain. This toolkit will allow for the further progression and continued momentum of the branchless banking industry.
Mobile money in 2006 and 2016” by Michael Klein
Since the release of the Making Finance Work for Africa report in 2006, M-PESA today “helps some 60 per cent of all adult Kenyans with payment services and is all the rage in the world of microfinance,” throughout Africa. Mobile money has revolutionized the way Africans live, work, travel, and do business every day, just like SlimTrader. However, this revolution has put pressure on banks in Africa to keep up with mobile providers like M-PESA and SlimTrader. The way people think about and handle money is changing and there is a lot in store for the future. Klein is looking forward to 2016 to see what has changed over the course of 10 years.
The secret of economic growth” by Aleksandr Shkolnikov
This article reflects on the secret of economic growth. In fact, mobile technology has been the highly successful key to economic development. However, as Bill Clinton states, technology alone is not enough. The technology must be accompanied with continuous innovation, institutional support, and investments in order to allow for the eradication of poverty and the true, genuine development of emerging markets.