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New Digital Business Model Opportunity for Remittances as Banks Close MTO Accounts?

Banks are closing MTO accounts as risks increase amid a shifting regulatory environment. This means that fees increase for people sending remittances and an expansion of cash-based services in their place is highly likely. Yet this also presents an opportunity for a new digital business model. The Better Than Cash Alliance spoke with remittance expert Leon Issacs, CEO of Developing Markets Associates, to explore the current situation and how the industry might unite to overcome the challenges it faces.

Photo Credit: Jeanette Thomas

Help Shape the Responsible Digital Finance Agenda

Next month, leaders from around the globe will come together for the 5th annual Responsible Finance Forum. The agenda this year will focus entirely on responsible digital finance, and what is needed to advance this burgeoning trend. Help us and our partners build a constructive, multi-stakeholder conversation in August by taking the Global Pulse-Taking Survey on Responsible Digital Finance, facilitated by CGAP.   

Photo Credit: Ken Banks,

First Industry-Led Initiative to Craft Interoperable Mobile Money Transactions Standards in Tanzania

Interoperability seems like a win-win option for operators, regulators and customers. Yet it is challenging to bring competing market players together and to make it happen. Recent developments indicate that Tanzania is ready for interoperability in its mobile financial services markets. The four main MNOs with two of the largest banks under IFC brokerage are developing a set of operational regulations for interoperability, the first ever initiative of this kind in sub-Saharan Africa.


Why Aren’t More Nigerians Adopting Mobile Money? 

Despite a 2009 regulatory framework for mobile money that aimed to boost adoption of formal digital financial services, only 0.01 percent of Nigerians have a mobile money account. Drawing from new research, MicroSave outlines the obstacles contributing to the sluggish transformation, including regulations limiting MNO involvement and providers scaling up programme without sufficient pilot testing to define customers’ needs and business processes, proper planning, and bandwidth to implement. 

Cutting Costs of Remittances: An Interactive Debate

Digitization represents a tremendous opportunity to reduce the rising cost of remittances, which is a G20 priority. Last month in Geneva, UNCTAD leaders discussed how to unleash the potential of combining mobile technology and remittances, and the way to overcome some of the barriers at the domestic and international levels. Watch the video recording of the high-level discussion and join the conversation by using the hashtag #MobileRemittance on social media

Photo Credit: Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation


Join the "Cash to Digital Payments” Discussion Group on LinkedIn 

The Cash to Digital Payments Forum is a new LinkedIn group hosted by NetHope. The forum provides a space for development practitioners, donors and thought leaders to share hands-on experience with digital finance, learn about available tools, and engage in dynamic conversations about the transition from cash to digital payments. 


Smartphones & Mobile Money: The Next Generation of Digital Financial Inclusion

Smartphone adoption is projected to nearly double between 2012 and 2017 globally. Similar to the impact when traditional mobile phones reached emerging markets, there will be new opportunities for mobile money business models as unbanked consumers gain access to smartphones and mobile internet services. A GSMA Mobile Money for the Unbanked (MMU) white paper looks at the trends and the significance to the next evolution of mobile money.

The future of money won’t be about cash, says MasterCard CEO Ajay Banga in an op-ed in The Wall Street Journal 125th Anniversary Edition

The ITU established a new focus group to promote digital financial inclusion through the adoption of international standards for national regulators and market players

E-transfers in emergencies: Webinar recording shares case studies and tools for data privacy and cost-efficiency, presented by the Cash Learning Partnership (CaLP)

The CFI's Banana Skins report shows that the microfinance sector tends not to see technological innovation as a strategic and long-term development issue

Core Agent Network Accelerator – Nairobi, August 25-29, 2014
Responsible Finance Forum: Responsible Digital Finance – Perth, August 28-29, 2014 (invite-only)

Global Partnership for Financial Inclusion (GPFI) Forum – Perth, September 1, 2014 (invite-only)

Advanced Agent Network Accelerator – Nairobi, September 15-19, 2014

SEEP Annual Conference - Arlington, September 22-25, 2014

Sibos 2014 – Boston, September 29 – October 2, 2014

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