MIX News Brief: 5 October 2018

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5 October 2018


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!   


Aligning Expectations: The Business Case for Digital Financial Services (IFC and Mastercard Foundation)

IFC and the Mastercard Foundation completed a four-year longitudinal study looking at nine financial institutions in Sub-saharan Africa as they implemented agent- and mobile-banking solutions. Let's just say this report is chock full of insights that are more practical than academic. And the report culminates in a set of agent banking benchmarks. It reminds us a little report we published in 2017 with IFC, Mastercard Foundation and UNCDF that we'll just leave right here: Measuring the Performance of Alternative Delivery Channels. (And we're now collecting those metrics for our MIX Market subscribers).


The last mile: Delivery mechanisms for post-disaster finance (World Bank)

The number of weather-related disasters is increasing, as shown in this daily chart from The Economist. But all hope is not lost. A new report from the World Bank finds that, "By improving financial inclusion, governments can also improve the effectiveness with which social support is delivered to disaster-struck population groups." Financial services might not be able to prevent these disasters, but they can help households manage shocks and get back on their feet. Hopefully, governments will take note of this new report (or at least Page 7).


Africa's fintech startups are innovating out of need and global investors are backing them (Quartz)

Let's start with this datapoint: Fintechs in Africa accounted for "almost a third of total funding raised by startups on the continent in 2017". Yomi Kazeem thinks that's to be expected because these fintech startups are "plugging gaps in financial services". Yes, this article is yet another that cites the M-Pesa story. But Mr. Kazeem also highlights the disruption of Paystack, the profitability of Paga, and the scalability of Cellulant. Could these become the standard bearers for all articles about inclusive fintech in Africa? Maybe. But we'll happily follow along.


Blending finance and measuring impact for the UN Global Goals (ImpactAlpha)

“If we want impact management to become the norm for every enterprise and investor, as the UN Sustainable Development Goals demand, we need shared principles, reporting standards and benchmarking methods for impact.” OK, we might be a little biased here*, but we're glad to share news of the Impact Management Project's recent launch of a global network to agree on "standards of practice". *Full disclosure: MIX participated in data coalition meetings earlier this summer, which brought together a number of actors to discuss data standards and interoperability. Fuller disclosure: We're quite excited about this initiative! Learn more here.