the mif blog

Stories of inspiring entrepreneurs and organizations, discussion and commentary of new trends in private sector development, and the latest events and publications.

What we’ve learned about remittance recipients in the Dominican Republic

By Guest

 By Rocío González del Rey Armenteros

Unlike the majority of remittance recipient countries, the Dominican Republic has the peculiarity of handling the vast majority of its remittance transfers as cash delivered to their home. Just 3.5% of Dominican remittance recipients receive their remittances as a direct deposit to a bank account. Though it doesn’t get much more comfortable than receiving your remittances in cash at your doorstep, the home delivery of remittances represents a major limitation for financial inclusion efforts. These clients are accustomed to the service and are resistant to traveling to a branch office to pick up their money or access other financial products and services. 

De las finanzas digitales a los microseguros digitales

By Sarah Ebrahimi

En un blog anterior mi colega, Fermin Vivanco, argumentó que la conversación alrededor del tema del uso de celulares para realizar transferencias de dinero,  o  las ‘finanzas digitales’, está entrando en una nueva fase.  En vez de ver el uso de teléfonos celulares solamente como una herramienta para cumplir con objetivos de inclusión financiera, por su habilidad para llegar a una mayor población y promover el acceso financiero de los usuarios de la base de pirámide,  también se deben considerar los beneficios secundarios que las finanzas digitales ofrecen a sus usuarios.  Uno de estos beneficios es la facilidad y rapidez con la que un usuario puede acceder a efectivo a través de un cajero automático o un agente local, después de ser notificado acerca de la transferencia de fondos. El ahorro en tiempo y en dinero implica que el cliente no tiene que acercarse a una sede central para recibir su dinero, un beneficio que se vuelve particularmente importante cuando la persona se encuentra en una situación de emergencia. 

Must social enterprises grow to have a large-scale impact on society?

By Nobuyuki Otsuka

By Nobuyuki Otsuka and Claudio Cortellese

There is a proliferation worldwide of “social businesses” that generate goods and services that benefit society as well as financial profits. Likewise, we’re seeing more social business accelerators—specialized intermediaries that provide social entrepreneurs with business tools and approaches to accelerate the growth of an idea that is assumed to create a positive impact. Development professionals who work on building up the private sector are curious about what accelerating a social business means. But perhaps a more fundamental question should be: is it necessary to accelerate a social business in the first place? 

CMF VI food for thought: Carib-Cap III and other ideas about future microfinance development in the Caribbean

By Ryan Tang

Panelists share lessons learned from Carib-Cap

During the second session of the Caribbean Microfinance Forum VI (CMF VI), one of the panelists, Curven Whyte, Microfinance Coordinator of a major Jamaican credit union, cited the growth in the industry brought about by the Caribbean Microfinance Capacity Building projects (Carib-Cap) I and II and called for a Carib-Cap III. The audience applauded and I couldn’t help but smile because at the CMF last year, the donors—MIF included—had said they would continue supporting microfinance in the Caribbean but not through a regional, multi-donor Carib-Cap III project. Nevertheless, throughout the remainder of the CMF VI, calls for a Carib-Cap III resounded and it became evident that many microfinance stakeholders thought Carib-Cap I and II had accomplished a lot but that need for additional support remained in the Caribbean.

Financial inclusion just a click away: E-wallets and payment platforms

By Sergio Navajas

By Sergio Navajas and Valentina Echeverry  

Also published on Sustainable Business blog

In Latin America, 60 percent of the population lacks access to financial services, equivalent to approximately 250 million people. However, mobile phone penetration is between 90 and 100 percent.  In some countries, such as Colombia, penetration is 105 percent. This indicates that most people have a mobile device and some, even two. What role do mobile wallets and payment platforms play in financial inclusion?