18 Nov 2015
Opportunity International

Opportunity International enters into a groundbreaking agreement with fintech company MyBucks Group to better serve customers throughout Africa.

Opportunity International recently agreed to sell the majority of its shares of six banks serving sub-Saharan Africa to the MyBucks Group. MyBucks Group is a Luexembourg-based financial technology company that holds the brands GetBucks, GetSure and GetBanked. This is a particularly groundbreaking partnership because it marks the first time a fintech company has acquired banks to help reconcile virtual and traditional banking.

As part of the agreement, Opportunity International will be a minority shareholder in MyBucks and a minimum of one board seat at parent and bank levels. Said Viki Escarra, Global CEO of Opportunity International:

“MyBucks brings a number of other benefits to banks including integrating cutting-edge digital and mobile banking technology to serve clients in even the most remote areas of Africa. MyBucks will also expand the number of small, medium and micro-entrepreneurs served. Often, these are small businesses that need financial resources but have been declined by traditional banks. MyBucks uses a comprehensive credit analysis process that can get critical resources into the hands of our clients quickly and efficiently."

In order to deliver outreach services it previously offered through banks, Opportunity International will open "Transformation Centers"...

17 Nov 2015
Learning Lab

The Learning Lab presents an illustrated excerpt of its forthcoming study on the impact case for rural and agricultural finance, released to coincide with the Learning from Rural Clients workshop on client voice in Cape Town.

In this booklet, available for download below, we present a snapshot of what outcomes matter to many smallholder famers.  In other words, we often talk about impact measurement – but what does impact mean to clients themselves?  Does this align with how practioners measure impact? If not, how can we address that gap?

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16 Nov 2015
Mercy Corps

This White Paper from Mercy Corps' AgriFin Accelerate program explores the major findings of a 2015 ecosystem study of digital financial and non-financial services for smallholders in Kenya. 

[Download the full White Paper] 

"Fertile Ground" outlines the major findings of the AFA Kenya Ecosystem Study (KES) which was conducted from April to July 2015 with Dalberg Global Development Advisors on behalf of the program and the MasterCard Foundation. The study takes an ecosystem approach to understanding the market landscape and farmer needs, which includes, but is not limited to, value chain analysis. 

In addition to being one of the few country ecoystem studies covering this topic, the report presents several important findings.  Although Kenya is at the forefront of  digital finance technologies, there is a low penetration of services at the smallholder famer level. The white paper explores several reasons for this phenomenon, including the need for product tailoring and a weak understanding of smallholder needs, preferences, and behaviors.