MIX News Brief: 15 March 2019

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15 March 2019

 

Every other week we post recent articles curated by our team of data analysts and financial sector experts.  The articles span sectors and topics including fintech, smallholder finance, mobile money and more.  The MIX News Brief is intended to keep socially responsible investors and businesses updated on the latest thinking on financial services for the poor because, at MIX, our mission is to provide the data, analytics and insight that enable decision makers to build inclusive financial services ecosystems.  Let us know what you think by tweeting at @mix_market!   

 

Future of money (Raconteur)

Lofty title aside, this special report published in The Times and by Raconteur is more than just a beautifully-designed publication that perfectly balances the traditional newsprint columns of yesterday with the practicality of today's digital layouts. Yes, we're getting nostalgiac but this report is also packed full of updates, interviews, and provocations that paints a comprehensive picture of the landscape of money.  Perhaps most valuable is how this report effortlessly brings together a variety of money-related topics - from Western Union's digitization plans to consumer financial habits to corruption - that are otherwise features on various niche blogs and media outlets.  If you're in the UK you might be able to find a copy in this weekend's Sunday Times; otherwise you'll have to settle for the digital version.

 

Al Kags tests out Safaricom's Fuliza (Twitter, h/t Rafe Mazer

There's a first time for everything.  In this case, it's the first time we are linking to a Twitter thread.  But it's worth it because this thread documents the first time Al Kags - founder, fellow, and open data enthusiast - tried out Fuliza.  The new service from Safaricom is an "overdraft facility" that allows M-Pesa to access small loans if their accounts are empty (it bases loan limits on past transactions).  As Mr. Kags notes, however, the fees are not presented clearly and Safaricom charges an overdraft fee in addition to the interest charged on the loan.  The thread is worth reading through because there is more to unpack.  Also, while you're there be sure to follow us!

 

Sex-disaggregated data is key in bridging the financial inclusion gender gap (Alliance for Financial Inclusion)

When the most recent Findex data was released last year, one of the key findings was the persistence of the gender gap in financial inclusion.  Despite advances in products and the expansion in access fueled by mobile money, "women remain seven percentage points less likely than man to have a bank account".   And although women's mobile phone ownership is increasing, women are less likely to own a phone than men, according to GSMA's most recent report on the gender gap.  In this short post, the team at Data2X makes the case that, in order to reduce the gender gap in financial, sex-dissagregated data is needed.