News & Analysis: FinTech

The Case for Cash Transfers—Beyond COVID-19—Gains Strength: New Data on Comparative Cost-Effectiveness

“Cash transfers can help replace lost income when work is disrupted by public health measures, economic contraction, or caregiving needs. Cash payments can also help stimulate local economic activity and can be relatively quickly deployed—particularly when compared to other forms of support.”

via Center for Global Development

Digital platforms have been a boon for social assistance in African countries during the pandemic

“While Togo’s mobile-based digital program stood out early on, it was not alone in Africa in providing social welfare relief for its citizens. More than 40 African countries have introduced or expanded social welfare programs since the pandemic.”

via Quartz Africa

Combining new and traditional mechanisms in Northern Kenya to cope during COVID-19

“The combination of a safety net provided by the government and the skills, agency, social capital and business networks developed through the Building Livelihoods programme has given beneficiaries a stronger asset base on which to survive. It has also enabled them to leverage opportunities to earn income, even in the current restricted environment.”

via FSD Kenya

Kenya enhances its cash transfer programmes in response to the COVID-19 pandemic

“Whereas varied modes of interventions are experimented and deployed in response to COVID-19, there is a need to recognise that in an emergency like this, determining the level of vulnerability is a fluid undertaking. Furthermore, identifying whom to give cash transfers remains a challenge, considering for instance that those previously considered stable are now rendered vulnerable by the fact of losing their jobs and main sources of livelihood.”

via FSD Kenya

Interview with Omer Omarabi: Using FinTech in Sudan’s Economic Response to COVID-19

COVID-19 Africa Watch speaks to Omer Omarabi, the General Manager of Electronic Banking Services Sudan, about how financial technology has played a role in Sudan’s COVID-19 response initiatives.

via COVID-19 Africa Watch

Remittance fintechs meet the COVID-19 moment

“Previously, fintech companies faced barriers to trial and acceptance, with customers often preferring cash-based transactions. But the lack of viable money transfer alternatives amid COVID-19 lockdowns and encouragement from governments to use digital payment options are catalyzing the digitization of payments and remittances.”

via Impact Alpha

COVID-19 and Digitisation: Will digitisation drive inclusion or inequality?

“In terms of mobile money, which is assumed to be ubiquitous in Kenya, there are key segments that are under-served. For example, while 75% of Kenyans have access to mobile money accounts, about 28% of local market farmers do not even have a mobile money account. This uneven access to digital tools has a material effect on the ability of all Kenyans to identify, leverage, benefit from and exploit digital opportunities.”

via FSD Kenya

The promise of digitising cash transfers in sub-Saharan Africa during COVID-19 and beyond

“This year, the coronavirus pandemic has forced governments to grapple with difficult questions regarding lockdowns, contact tracing and the provision of emergency financial assistance to citizens now without work. In developing countries, these hardships are magnified with the World Bank estimating that remittances – money transfers sent from foreign workers to their home countries – to low and middle-income countries (LMICs) are projected to fall by 19.7 percent (from $554 billion in 2019 to $445 billion in 2020). Considering the significant role that remittances play in alleviating poverty and improving nutrition, many governments have turned to mobile cash transfers for vulnerable citizens to use while minimising COVID-19 exposure.”

via Africa Portal

COVID-19: A Coffeehouse Conversation on Financial Technology

Africa is at the edge of FinTech innovation and a lack of financial inclusion, and COVID-19 has increased the stakes of getting the policy environment right for increasing access to finance.

via Devex

Zimbabwe is squeezing its top mobile money platform for users’ data as it clamps down on the media

“Zimbabwean authorities are demanding the country’s biggest mobile money platform to give up half of all transaction files for 2020 to law enforcement agents under a crackdown the operator says violates telecom user data privacy rights.”

via Quartz Africa