Week of March 25, 2014

  • The National Consumer Law Center (NCLC) published a new report analyzing claims that big data and predictive algorithms will create alternative credit scores and new options of accessing credit for the unbanked.  NCLC concludes that more customer data does not necessarily equal good customer data or accurate scores and those scores may be violating federal laws.
  • There were a few big announcements recently in the mobile money world  – Safaricom and Airtel jointly bought out yuMobile, the third-biggest telco in Kenya, T-Mobile announced it will offer financial services in Poland through a partnership with Alior Bank, and MTN partnered with Ecobank to allow customers to transfer money between accounts and withdraw cash from Ecobank ATMs in 12 African countries.
  • In a recent webinar, Bankable Frontier Associates discussed key findings from four recent CGAP and Better than Cash Alliance case studies that examine the e-payment experience of cash transfer programs in low-income settings in Kenya, Uganda, Haiti and the Philippines. 
  • When RCTs include treatments at the village or district level, what happens to individual consent?  Jed Friedman discusses the ethics of consent and trials in a post for the World Bank’s Development Impact Blog.
  • Both The New York Times and WNYC profiled the lives and financial hardships of individuals working low-wage jobs.  While the Times looks at Chattanooga, TNand WNYC at New York, the struggles of households to get by share commonalities with each other and with those of the US Financial Diaries project.
  • FAI affiliate Daniel Rozas partners with Gabriela Erice on a new paper for the European Microfinance Platform that shows at MFIs and banks in Bolivia, Nicaragua, and Pakistan 50-75% of savings accounts at MFIs and banks in Bolivia, Nicaragua, and Pakistan are empty and balances of accounts with funds are at least double the average reported size.
  • Tom Murphy covers the recent debate on why remittances have fallen in the US-Mexico corridor and includes excerpts from a recent Felix Salmon article on this topic, Tim Ogden’s blog response to Salmon, and Michael Clemens and Tim’s work on migration as a household investment strategy.

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