- GSMA has published their annual mobile money report, State of the Industry. Key findings: Cross-border transactions were the fastest growing mobile money service, with a 51.8% increase in 2015. Mobile money adoption increased 31% over the past year, but interoperability remains a challenge—only seven markets support inter-network transactions.
- In response to the lack of economic opportunity in her rural Paraguayan village, Francisca Romero García founded a vocational school for young women. Before García had access to credit, she slowly built the school with small loans from family members. Now, with microfinance from Fundación Paraguaya, the enterprise has expanded to cover 13 different courses with 270 enrolled students.
- How can we help people in the U.S. recover from financial emergencies? 60% of Americans weathered a financial shock in the past year, and 55% of them reported that it was “hard to make ends meet.” Financial Solutions Lab encourages financial service providers to offer aid and preventative services for such emergencies—which would decrease the $138 billion spent on fees and interest in 2014.
- CGAP’s Financial Diaries with Smallholder Families examines the financial lives of small farmers in Mozambique, Tanzania, and Pakistan. The families used mobile money and informal financial tools such as savings groups far less than expected. Volatile income, especially related to weather, means that financial shocks are difficult to ride out.
- New CFI study My Turn to Speak shares experiences of microfinance institution clients. Despite the diverse markets of the borrowers—Benin, Pakistan, Peru, and Georgia— common trends include the desire for more transparency in the loan process and more respectful treatment.
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