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February 3, 2021

On the wires

VEON and Mastercard Enter Into Global Partnership to Boost Digital Financial Services

“VEON Ltd. (NASDAQ and Euronext Amsterdam: VEON), a leading global provider of connectivity and digital services, announces a strategic global partnership with payment technology leader Mastercard to boost digital financial services in key markets. The partnership, covering core portions of VEON’s footprint (Russia, Pakistan, Ukraine, Kazakhstan and Bangladesh), will allow VEON to further scale its digital financial services business by offering consumers and merchants in these countries best-in-class products tailored to their needs. By working together, the companies will support the financial and digital inclusion of traditionally underserved consumers in each geography.”

January 5, 2021

On the web

9mobile, Others Parley on Deepening Financial Inclusion

Punch Newspapers

“As part of efforts to promote and deepen financial inclusion among the unbanked and underbanked population in Nigeria, 9mobile, Sanef, Ecobank and other stakeholders in the financial sector have discussed actualising the cashless vision of the Central Bank of Nigeria. According to a statement issued on Monday, this was at the virtual forum series, organized by Ecobank and Vanguard, which was themed ‘Mobile Payment Innovation and Closing the Financial Inclusion Gap – post COVID-19’.”

December 24, 2020

On the web

December 23, 2020

On the web

Serving the Underbanked

American Banker

“If you are underbanked you probably have limited access to mainstream financial services normally offered by retail banks. According to FDIC research, nearly one-quarter of the country is unbanked or underbanked and COVID-19 threatens to draw more into this consumer category. Many fintech startups offer alternative ways to measure credit risk, and assert that their products can help extend financial services to consumers who have not been well-served by traditional banks. Join our guest host, James Ledbetter, former Head of Content for Sequoia Capital and ex-editor in chief of Inc magazine and Inc.com, Mike De Vere, CEO of Zest AI and Jenny Vipperman, Chief Lending Officer of VyStar Credit Union as they explore (1) what factors will influence product design among institutions that try to step up service to this segment? (2) Which approach will work best? and (3) What are the obstacles to success? Our host for this episode of Leaders is James Ledbetter, former Head of Content for Sequoia Capital and ex-editor in chief of Inc magazine and Inc.com.”

December 22, 2020

On the web

March 13, 2020

On the wires

Mastercard and Samsung Partner to Enable Digital Inclusion | Global Hub

“Mastercard’s Pay on Demand platform is designed to accelerate digital inclusion by bringing together financial institutions, original equipment manufacturers and telcos to holistically solve issues that have limited device financing in emerging markets. In line with Mastercard’s principles for data responsibility , the solution allows consumers to access devices in a pay-as-you-go model.”

December 11, 2019

On the web

December 5, 2019

On the web

Innovate & Differentiate for True Financial Inclusion: Sachin Bansal


“2020 once seemed futuristic enough to envision transformation at scale, yet close enough to set as a target and hit goals. As 2019 draws to a close, Mint invites corporate leaders to share their vision for the next decade. Sachin Bansal, co-founder and CEO, Navi Technologies, co-founder of Flipkart and technology entrepreneur, shares five ideas with Madhurima Nandy on the importance of financial inclusion.”

September 26, 2019

On the web

September 9, 2019

On the web

Big Issue Sellers Go Full Contactless

Gizmodo UK

“The publisher has teamed up with iZettle to operate the system, which is selling the card readers at a discounted one-off price of £9 to any Big Issue seller who wants to get in on the contactless race. Apparently iZettle has negotiated a lower transaction fee per magazine sale too, as it’s all about appearing to be helping in the charitable world and not solely interested in acquiring mobile advertising space on the high street.”

September 3, 2019

On the web

Social Entrepreneur Works To Bring 100 Million Underserved People Into Pakistani Financial System


““Financial inclusion in Pakistan is extremely low. The World Bank estimates 100 million adults, out of a total population of 189 million, lack access to formal financial services. Low income consumers in particular struggle to access credit, smooth cash flows, manage bumps and shocks, and save to meet their future goals,” says Tahira Dosani, managing director of Accion Venture Lab, a seed-stage fintech investor that has invested in Tez Financial Services and now serves on the board.”

June 25, 2019

On the web

Walmart Now Accepts SNAP for Online Grocery Orders at All 2,500+ Pickup Locations


“Walmart has been working to address the needs of low-income shoppers for some time. More recently, it’s been introducing new ways to serve customers on public assistance. In fall 2017, the retailer began a small test allowing customers to pay for online grocery orders using their SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) benefits — more casually known as food stamps. Today, Walmart says SNAP is now accepted for online grocery orders at all of the company’s 2,500-plus pickup locations. For SNAP customers, the process of placing an online order is as simple as it is for those paying with debit or credit. They enter their ZIP codes on the Walmart Grocery website to select their local store, then shop for groceries online by adding items to their cart. At checkout, they select a pickup time and choose “EBT card” as their payment option.”

May 13, 2019

On the web

Fintechs and Financial Inclusion


This paper documents CGAP’s work with 18 fintech pilots in Africa and South Asia. The goal of this paper is to explain innovations in a detailed way and generate insight on whether the services (i) work as stated, (ii) create value for underserved customers, and (iii) ease age-old pain points in delivering financial services to underserved customers.”

April 26, 2019

On the web

After Outrage, Sweetgreen Will Accept Cash Again


“Starting in December 2016, fast-casual salad chain Sweetgreen stopped accepting cash at restaurants across the U.S. The move was immediately controversial , but it took more than two years for the company to reverse the decision.     On Thursday, the company announced that its six Philadelphia locations will accept old-fashioned paper currency, beginning July 1.  By year end, all 94 current Sweetgreen locations will accept cash. (In Boston, where laws already in place prohibit cashless retail establishments, the 15 Sweetgreens never stopped accepting paper currency.) The chain, currently valued over $1 billion, expects to grow to 110 stores by the end of 2019.”

March 6, 2019

On the web

Digital Commerce Will Transform African Economies, Starting With Cheaper Phones

Quartz Africa

“There’s a $700-billion opportunity for African countries over the next five years if they can close the gender gap in mobile-phone ownership, according to GSMA, the global mobile-trade body. It bases that estimate on the commercial opportunity for mobile operators and the expected boost to GDPs as more women get phones. The smartphone, vital for internet connections on the continent, will become increasingly affordable as new entrants bring cheaper (under $50) smartphones and “smart feature phones” (under $20) to market.”

February 6, 2019

On the web

Amazon Cash Banks On Engaging African-American, Hispanic Consumers


“While Amazon’s overarching strategy is to engage these consumers, who represent 25.2% of the U.S. population, it is also an effort to attract more African-American and Hispanic consumers, who just so happen to be the most likely ethnic groups to be unbanked, according to an FDIC study. Several factors impact this disparity, including lower average household incomes as well as a distrust of financial institutions. Amazon’s message to these consumer groups, however, is loud and clear: “being unbanked or underbanked should not be a barrier to using our service.””

January 31, 2019

On the wires

DFS Lab Announces Open Applications for Fintech Hackathon Focused on the Mojaloop Software

Digital Financial Services Lab (DFS Lab), today announced it was hosting a hackathon in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania April 8 to 12. The Hackathon will offer participants an in-depth look Mojaloop, which is open-source software for financial services companies, government regulators, and others taking on the challenges of interoperability and financial inclusion. Interested applicants can apply on the DFS Lab website here.”

September 14, 2018

On the web

Lack of bank access slows digital payment growth

Viet Nam News

“According to the World Bank’s 2017 Global Findex Database, 69 per cent of adults in the world have bank accounts, leaving around 1.7-1.8 billion people with no bank accounts. The figure was up from 62 per cent in 2014 and 51 per cent in 2011, driven by the rise of digital payment, which has emerged in developing regions such as Africa, India, China and Southeast Asia, World Bank expert Kyle Keller told a conference on Thursday.”

September 12, 2018

On the web

September 11, 2018

Top Post

Gates and Bezos back UK startup bidding to end payday poverty cycle


“A major reason for so many people struggling towards the end of the month is that the vast majority of Brits – unlike Americans – are paid monthly. Wagestream is promising to help solve this by letting people access their ‘earned income’ at any time during the pay cycle. An app shows each employee how much they have earned for each hour worked and lets them transfer these earnings instantly to their current account for a one-off fixed fee of £1.75. The money is then deducted from the next wage packet.”

September 7, 2018

On the web

Bill Gates Foundation eyes Kenya with software that allows mobile money interoperability

Business Insider

“The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundations is seeking to launch a free software that will enable Kenyans transact money across different banks and telcos. The Business Daily reports that the foundation plans to hold talks with Kenya’s Central Bank in order to rollout the software known as Mojaloop. The software will be expected to connect the six mobile money providers and 44 registered banks upon securing the necessary regulatory approvals and partnerships with industry players.”

August 17, 2018

Top Post

On the web

July 2, 2018

On the web

How To Link PayPal To Mpesa


Anyone transacting online frequently knows too well that the knowledge of how to link PayPal to Mpesa is in Kenya would be very useful to them. Apart from the convenience of not having to visit the bank every time you need to collect your cash, the direct transaction takes a shorter period of time compared to the bank, allegedly. This is a welcomed relief for people that use PayPal constantly to receive cash from online transactions. Knowing how to go about the linking is information that is invaluable. This article will shed some light on the process and hopefully help a lot more people out there who may need to access this info.

May 17, 2018

On the web

PayPal CFO Sees Opportunity In Consumers Who Have Mobile Devices, But Not Bank Accounts


“PayPal is doubling down on the idea of helping the “unbanked” — people who don’t use typical financial services — by chasing one key group, CFO John Rainey told CNBC on Wednesday. “There’s something like two billion people across the world that don’t have things that you and I take for granted – a checking account, a banking account, a home mortgage, traditional financial services,” Rainey told “Mad Money” host Jim Cramer in an exclusive interview. “The unique aspect about those two billion people is that 70 percent of them,” or some 1.4 billion, “have a mobile device,” Rainey said.”

May 3, 2018

On the web

Using big data to link poor farmers to finance

Brookings Institute

Two billion adults in the world are excluded from credit. The situation is especially bad for small farmers in rural areas who are unable to access loans to invest in their farms, trapped in a vicious circle of low productivity, low yields, and poor income. The Initiative for Smallholder Finance estimates that smallholders globally access just $50 billion of the $200 billion of lending that they require to grow their operations and improve their lives.”

April 26, 2018

On the web

April 19, 2018

On the web

Financial inclusion is improving around the world—but women are still missing out


“In developing countries, the gap in financial inclusion between men and women has stalled at nine percentage points. Not every emerging market has this disparity—men and women are equally likely to have an account in Cambodia, Indonesia, Myanmar, and Vietnam, for instance. Even so, making sure women have equal access to financial services can change lives, said Melinda Gates, co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which helped fund the index.”

Contactless donations project raises thousands for homeless in Cardiff

Wales Online

“A scheme to allow shoppers to donate to the homeless using their contactless cards has been hailed a success after a trial. A total of 430 kind-hearted shoppers in Cardiff swiped their contactless cards to give money to the homeless in just three weeks. The interactive window in the city centre allows passers-by to tap their card on the screen and donate £2 to homeless charities.”

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