In recent years, Safaricom has launched a number of value-added services through its M-PESA product in Kenya, aiming to move its customer base beyond basic money transfers. M-Shwari is by far the most popular of the offerings.
Mobile operators are increasingly looking toward a next generation of financial and non-financial services that leverage mobile money. In Zimbabwe, Econet is diversifying its products while simultaneously driving mobile money usage in other sectors, including energy, education, agriculture, and health.
Driving financial inclusion and expanding energy access have traditionally been considered separate development objectives. But thanks to revolutions in the distribution and financing of off-grid solar, that may be about to change.
In Uganda, Tugende has helped over 3,000 motorcycle taxi drivers on the path to ownership by leveraging new technologies that enable the purchasing of an asset over time. Tugende's success has four key lessons for other digital finance plus initiatives.
Worldwide, 124 million children between the ages of 6 and 15 are not in school. While financial inclusion cannot solve the many complex reasons all children are not in school, better financial tools can help families manage educational expenses.
For many low-income families worldwide, education can be out of reach. Mobile money and digital financial services have the potential to help families by providing them with better tools that can help them save, plan and make education payments.
What if a teacher in rural Liberia could collect her salary instantly and remotely? USAID recently partnered with the Liberian Ministry of Education to roll out the first mobile salary payments, and the preliminary results are extremely promising.