Banking the unbanked in emerging markets

As countries progress, citizens migrate from remote villages to large cities and foreign countries. Their economic power rises and they participate in the global economy. People need to purchase food, pay electricity bills, top up transportation cards, arrange online services, buy overseas goods, repay loans, and send money to relatives. Unlike the U.S., however, where 93% of peoplehave banking options, many in developing markets do not. Globally, an estimated 2 billion adults lack access to formal financial services. The services that are available are typically cumbersome and expensive. To address this gap, fintech startups…

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Innovation: Meet “Text Engine”, the Google with text messages.

I’ve had a smartphone since 2010. In developed countries, a feature phone is a memory of the past – a nostalgic thought about flip phones. However in developing and frontier markets, feature phones are still alive and well. Even in more developed places like Brazil, smartphone penetration among mobile users is still only between 30-40%. Even for those with smartphone in hand, data is very expensive and internet signals are unreliable. The lack of infrastructure is an everyday problem. But how do we bring information for those still using feature phones…

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Emerging Markets are much more Bitcoin native

The buzz around Bitcoin has been huge. It seems everybody is talking about it, but its uses have been restricted to a niche type of people and business. If you think that too, should think again. Emerging markets always seem to embrace new methods of payments. And Bitcoin seem to be growing and thriving in few emerging economies. Interestingly enough, for very different reasons. Although Argentina is not a technically an emerging market, Bitcoin has become a natural alternative to cash. The use of Bitcoin in Argentina has doubled in…

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The 3 emerging markets to watch in 2016

2015, what year that was for BRICs! It will be the year to remember Brazil’s economic slowdown and turbulent political scene. Meanwhile in China,  the botched response to a rout in its stocks gripped financial markets in mid-2015 and Russia projected to report single-digit inflation. But what’s happening with other emerging markets outside the BRICs? The Reuters Global Investment Outlook Summit pointed out the ASEAN trade bloc, which comprising countries such as Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and the Philippines is what we ought to be looking at for next year. Here…

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