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Tata Teleservices & MChek Eye Microfinance; Funded By GSMA Mobile Money For Unbanked Fund

Among the latest recipients of funds from the GSMA Foundation’s “Mobile Money for the Unbanked (MMU) Fund”, is Tata Teleservices in India. Working with MChek, they’re apparently going to target customers in rural India, particularly dairy, contract and agricultural workers, for microfinance services.

GSMA quotes an MChek research, which indicates that there is a need for cash management and money transfer services among customers currently not services by traditional banking services, and that there are currently 91 million households in India who are currently financially excluded. MChek has also been certified by Western Union for mobile money transfer services, as a part of its Mobile Vendor program.

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The GSMA MMU Fund is funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and the project, which has now completed its allocation, is expected to cover 170 million unbanked customers across 19 operators in Latin America, Africa, and Asia.

In this round of allocation, Cellcard in Cambodia, Digicel in Fiji, Orange in West Africa, Safaricom in Kenya, Telenor in Pakistan, and Tigo in Africa have received funding.

Other projects (apart from Tata Indicom-MChek) in South Asia that have received grants:
— Easypaisa is an existing mobile money service successfully offered by Telenor Pakistan. They’re planning to use the MMU Funds to develop a sophisticated savings/insurance product which can be offered on top of the Easypaisa platform.
— Bangladesh’s Grameenphone is working to enhance its mobile money service offerings (which were originally limited to bill payment) with, for example, a mobile ticketing service for Bangladesh Railways
— Dialog is expanding its mobile money offering into the northern provinces of Sri Lanka, which were, until last year’s settlement, a war zone

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