Blog

Catalyzing Graduation with Village Savings and Loan Associations

In Haiti, Fonkoze recognized a need for post-graduation support for participants of its Chemen Lavi Miyò (CLM) (Pathway to a Better Life) program. One of the most promising solutions to date is the village savings and loan association (VSLA).
Blog

Don’t Forget the Value Proposition for G2P E-Payment Recipients

Theory indicates that G2P payments can be a gateway to financial inclusion, but behavior on the ground suggests that receiving social cash transfers electronically has not influenced recipients to become e-payment users in general.
Blog

E-Payments in Low-Income Settings: Cutting-Edge or High Risk?

Seen as having great potential for advancing the effectiveness of social and foreign assistance, e-payments can increase efficiency in a variety of ways. Four case studies take a closer look at programs in Haiti, Kenya, The Philippines and Uganda.
Blog

Standing Firm With Clients When Catastrophe Hits

In the aftermath of hurricane Sandy, Fonkoze—Haiti’s largest MFI and the only one that offers catastrophe microinsurance to its 65,000 clients—faced more than 17,000 claims to review.
Blog

Can MTOs Accelerate the Adoption of Mobile Remittances?

As our understanding of the factors that lead to customer adoption of branchless banking expands, there is a growing consensus that for international remittances services to reach a significant level of scale, they will require an existing mobile money ecosystem that allows for downstream transactions which give users access to a wider array of cost-effective services and products such as payments and access to savings.
Blog

Can Mobile Money Transform a Country?

Over the past week, the world has been commemorating the 2nd anniversary of the Haiti earthquake. Today and tomorrow we will have two guest blog posts on the mobile money sector that has emerged over the last two years in Haiti. Today’s post is written by two colleagues at USAID.
Blog

Tracking Mobile Money Use in Haiti

We all remember the devastating 7.0 earthquake that struck Haiti in January 2010 reportedly destroying about one-third of the country’s bricks-and-mortar bank branches, limiting Haitians’ ability to send and receive money transfers, cash checks, or simply access much-needed cash resources.
Blog

Mobile Money Moving Rapidly Ahead in Haiti

Despite the difficulties in Haiti during 2010 and into 2011 (earthquake, infrastructure destruction, elections and political unrest, cholera epidemic, tropical storms, floods, and gas shortages), the response to HMMI by the mobile operators, technology providers, financial institutions, institutional users, and Haitians has been very positive, with both Tcho Tcho Mobile and Ti-Cash launched before the end of 2010.
Blog

Let’s Play: Making Savings Fun

The borlette system in Haiti is hard to ignore. Part casino, part dream parlor, part bank, the borlette network gleams on the retail landscape.
Blog

Headlines for March 2011

Retail banking is not a high margin business. It is one where you have to earn a little from lots of customers, know them well and serve them well – not easy when you have many millions spread over a large area who may not be worth much individually even if they are better off than they have ever been before.
Blog

Haiti: Strategies for a Multi-Competitor, Multi-Industry Market

Last year, three partnerships involving all of Haiti’s mobile phone operators and some of the country’s biggest banks announced their intention to launch mobile money services.
Blog

A Country with a Last Name: Haiti Cherie

The financial hit of losing fixed assets like buildings and equipment and writing-off loans, the difficulty of keeping strong credit discipline with the influx of not-always-so-smart subsidies, the offer of higher salaries to staff by relief organizations and NGOs, and the short attention span of funders for long-term institution building are all real challenges.
Blog

Haiti: Could Mobile Banking Be A Legacy of the Earthquake?

Tomorrow will mark the one year anniversary of the terrible earthquake that struck Port-au-Prince, the capital of Haiti. While much of the global aid community was focused on disaster response and establishing humanitarian camps for the displaced, there was also a desire to start putting in place financial systems that could be used to help both the immediate aid efforts as well as to establish sustainable long-term financial services for all Haitians.
Blog

An Alternative to M-PESA? Orange and Equity Bank Launch Iko Pesa

There’s been news of several new mobile money launches over the last few weeks. Digicel in Haiti has just launched its TchoTcho Mobile service. Its main competitor Voila has launched its service for use by relief organizations throughout the country.
Blog

Mobile Money Innovation… Waiting… Waiting…

To some extent, falling hardware prices and mobile data transfer costs make it inevitable that we will see suddenly cheap technology applied to old problems. But isn’t there more we could be doing?
Blog

Haiti’s Graduation Pilot Final Evaluation,Promising Results

At the pilot stage, the program has demonstrated significant positive impact upon the lives of its members with 97% per cent of the 150 women that participated “graduating” out of the program.