March 10, 2014
No consumer likes overdraft fees. Overdraft fees are often unexpected, expensive, and in some cases undeserved. What’s more, they can wreak financial havoc on households living on a low-income.
But the larger issue is not the fees themselves. It’s the lack of transparency surrounding them and the widespread consumer distrust that results.
March 7, 2014
Citibank and Imperial College teamed up to produce Getting Ready for Digital Money: A Roadmap, a new report that assess the current state of digital money around the world; it includes a “Digital Money Readiness Index.” This index links socio-economic development indicators to digital money adoption.
March 6, 2014
Global remittance flows command a rightfully growing amount of attention. Recently Pew published a visualization of World Bank data on international remittances that helps show the scale and corridors of transfers. Of note, FAI’s Alicia Brindisi has been writing about south-to-south remittances and the huge market they represent.
February 26, 2014
Mobile money supporters often tout the benefits of using transfer services to facilitate remittances. Many users are migrants who made the financial investment to live in a Western country and send financial resources back home. But that is only part of the story.
February 21, 2014
In Kenya, 70 percent of long distance payments from one individual to another are made electronically. Seventy percent of payments from governments and businesses to individuals are also made electronically. From 2006 to 2009 when M-Pesa—the Kenyan mobile instrument for all these payments—was expanding, the total number of person-to-person electronic transactions shot up rapidly, by 215 percent.
February 21, 2014
There’s a nice post on payday loans by New School professor Lisa Servon on the New Yorker Currency blog this week. She tells the story of Azlinah Tambu, a single mother in Oakland, CA who took out a series of payday loans, knowing she wouldn’t be able to pay them back on time and will end up repaying far more than she borrows. There’s no question Tambu is as informed a consumer of these types of loans as you could find: she has worked as a teller for a payday lender.
February 18, 2014
This week’s New and Noteworthy includes results of an RCT on behavioral economics and savings, an in-depth look at legal procedures for debt collection, and a review of new cash transfer research in sub-Saharan Africa.
February 11, 2014
Today The New York Times features a perspective from Shaila Dewan on the importance of credit and saving in the lives of the poor. Dewan highlights that life without credit can be expensive and severly limiting in terms of accessing housing and other services or dealing with emergencies. She also notes that savings and credit are interconnected and quotes FAI's Jonathan Morduch on his own observations of the relationship between this activities from his research in Bangladesh:
February 7, 2014
In this week’s New and Noteworthy, we highlight responses to the USPS’ white paper on providing financial services, the impact of small dollar fees on the US health care system, and a new publication projecting the potential for digital payment markets in Africa.