Blog

Digital Finance in WAEMU: What’s New?

CGAP recently interviewed representatives of 100+ organizations in Benin, Côte d’Ivoire, Senegal, Mali and Niger to better understand the market system for digital financial services in the West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU). What have we learned?
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The Role of Financial Services in Reducing Hunger

Many of the world's 1.5 billion smallholder farmers lack access to basic financial services, leaving them vulnerable to shocks and prone to low-risk, low-return investments. Improving access to financial services can help farmers increase household income and food security.
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Helping Smallholders Buy Inputs, One Scratch Card at a Time

What if there was a way to construct a digital finance product that was based on habits and behaviors that are already part of smallholders’ lives? There is: Meet the myAgro scratch card model.
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Is Digital Finance Hitting its Stride in WAEMU?

Digital finance is advancing in WAEMU, but within the region there are eight countries all with unique markets facing disparate challenges. When it comes to mobile money and financial inclusion, the question for some is "where do you start?"
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Don’t Abandon Youth Financial Services - Innovate

Providing services for small savers is a challenge for financial institutions. With this in mind, Freedom from Hunger is getting a better understanding of the business case behind financial services to youth, who many financial institutions choose not to serve.
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Savers Deserve More Attention and Protection

Access to finance in the West African Economic Monetary Union and Economic and Monetary Community of Central Africa grew significantly from 2001 to 2011. However, more attention must be paid to savings and savers.
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Mobile Money: Even Data Analytics Has Limitations

While quantitative data analysis is a useful first step in understanding active mobile customers, it is even more insightful when providers actually go and talk with their customers directly.
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Wari: A Local Platform Heads to the Global Market

This post is the second of a three-part series this week on the CGAP and the Mobile Money for the Unbanked blogs on the topic of mobile financial services in francophone West Africa. Partnerships in new markets have been critical to the success of their strategy and so far, it seems to be working. Wari conducts around 1.5 million transactions per day or 40 million transactions per month, the vast majority of which is occurring outside of Senegal.
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Branchless Banking Country Notes

Over the past several months, we have taken a close look at the branchless banking industry in our focus countries.
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Bank-led or Mobile-led Financial Inclusion?

Payments are an optimal gateway product for financially underserved households. Unlike credit, insurance, and savings, payments do not require trust by either party.
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The Last Frontier for Branchless Banking: State of Play in WAEMU

Access to finance in WAEMU is very low, even by comparison to other regions of Africa. The rate of bancarization announced by the BCEAO in December 2010 was 9.5% and 12.7% of the population had an account with an MFI.
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Can Collecting Savings in Rural Areas Be Profitable?

The importance and role of savings with respect to the economic and social development of developing countries and of African countries in particular have long been recognized.
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Does Branchless Banking Reach Poor People? The Evidence from Mali

This is the third posting in a mini-series in which we present new evidence from three countries on whether branchless banking is reaching poor people. This post looks at Orange Money in Mali. Previous posts looked at India and Pakistan.
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Drivers of Mobile Money Profitability

This post is the second in the series on “Five Business Case Insights on Mobile Money.” In the first post, we shared with you a detailed presentation on the five insights. Here we explain further the first three insights.
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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.
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West Africa Switches on Mobile Money: Headlines for June 22, 2010

We’ve been saying for awhile that mobile money will be less compelling in places where good alternatives to cash already exist, for example, in developed markets such as North America. Despite that, the folks who look after how payments get cleared has opened a door for mobile.