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mSTAR’s Journey in Bangladesh: A Four Year Retrospective

In Bangladesh, the mSTAR activity supported the acceleration and adoption of digital financial services (DFS), including mobile financial services (MFS) and agent banking, within the USAID Mission’s programs from 2013 through 2017. This infographic tells the story of mSTAR/Bangladesh’s journey and how it has helped enroll over 36,500 individuals—the majority of whom are women—into digital financial service accounts and helped USAID implementing partners (IPs) and their beneficiaries transact over $2.7 million digitally.

Mobile Money Infosheet: Tap 'n Pay

This two-page publication provides an overview of the mobile financial services offered by Mobility i Tap Pay (Bangladesh) Limited in partnership with Meghna Bank Limited, under the brand name Tap 'n Pay, in Bangladesh for corporate users. It includes steps for setting up a corporate account, details on pricing and transaction limits, coverage details, and contact information for their corporate sales. It is one of a series of Infosheets intended to help USAID implementing partners better understand the options that exist for mobile financial services in Bangladesh.

Mobile Financial Services in Rural Bangladesh: Common Challenges and Possible Solutions

Although Bangladesh is one of the world’s largest markets in terms of active mobile financial services (MFS) users (with more than 25 million active accounts as of April 2017), accessing those services is still a challenge for many Bangladeshis, particularly in rural areas. This infographic shows some of the many challenges that rural Bangladeshis face using MFS and some potential solutions.

Mobile Payments for Training Allowances: One Project's Experience

Starting in February 2016, USAID’s Mobile Solutions Technical Assistance and Research (mSTAR) activity in Bangladesh began providing technical assistance to IFPRI to support their use of mobile money to disburse training allowances under the Agriculture, Nutrition, and Gender Linkages(ANGeL) pilot project, being implemented by the Ministry of Agriculture. This infographic highlights some of the experiences of beneficiaries who received these payments.

mSTAR/Bangladesh: Mobile Money Consultative Group Meeting Highlights February 2017

The 8th Mobile Money Consultative Group (MMCG) meeting was held on February 20, 2017 at the Lakeshore Hotel in Dhaka, with a focus on “Moving towards more integrated digital financial services”. It was organized by USAID’s Mobile Solutions Technical Assistance and Research (mSTAR) project hosted by City Bank. The meeting was attended by over 40 participants from 33 organizations. Refer to the Annexes for a full list of participants and the meeting agenda.

Financial Inclusion Week 2016 Event Highlights

This document provides a recap of the “Increasing the Uptake of Formal Financial Services through a Client-Centric Approach” event hosted by mSTAR/Bangladesh on October 19, 2016 in Bangladesh as part of Financial Inclusion Week 2016. The event focused on a discussion of driving financial inclusion in Bangladesh through client-centered digital financial services and was attended by more than 35 individuals.

mSTAR/Bangladesh: Mobile Money Consultative Group Meeting Highlights September 2016

The 7th Mobile Money Consultative Group (MMCG) meeting was held on September 26, 2016, at the Lakeshore Hotel in Dhaka, with a focus on “Improving Digital Financial Literacy in Bangladesh.” It was organized by USAID’s Mobile Solutions Technical Assistance and Research (mSTAR) project and hosted by Bank Asia Limited. The meeting was attended by 32 participants from 21 organizations.

Cash vs. Digital Financial Services in Bangladesh The Case of Social Marketing Company

Social Marketing Company (SMC) received a grant from mSTAR/Bangladesh to pilot the use of digital financial services (DFS), including both mobile and electronic payments, in their operations. During the ten-month pilot period from May to February, SMC and its staffmade a total of BDT 95,179,014(approximately USD $1.2 million) in transactions using DFS in three of its programmatic areas: the training programs for its Blue Star Provider (BSP) and Private Community Health Providers (PCHP), as well as for sales collection.

mSTAR/Bangladesh: Mobile Money Consultative Group Meeting Highlights May 2016

The 6th Mobile Money Consultative Group (MMCG) meeting was held on May 29, 2016, at FHI 360’s Bangladesh Country Office. It was attended by representatives from 13 development organizations and four digital financial services (DFS) providers who focused on the potential of DFS for delivering savings and loan products. This document provides highlights from that meeting.

Mobile Financial Services Comparison Chart (Bangladesh)

As of February 2016, there were a total of 18 mobile financial services (MFS) providers operational in Bangladesh. Between them, there are more than 33.98 million registered accounts, with over 41% active accounts transacting an average of BDT 5.52 billion (~ US$70 million) each day through the mobile channel. With mobile financial services (aka mobile money) increasingly becoming a viable transaction channel for USAID implementing partners and their stakeholders, this document provides a comparison of pricing, services, and coverage of nine of the leading MFS providers.

mSTAR/Bangladesh: Mobile Money Consultative Group Meeting Highlights February 2016

The fifth Mobile Money Consultative Group (MMCG) meeting organized by USAID’s Mobile Solutions Technical Assistance and Research (mSTAR) project was held on February 18, 2016, at FHI 360’s Bangladesh Country office. It was attended by 18 people, including representatives from nine development organizations and four representatives from three mobile financial service providers: DBBL Mobile Banking, IFIC Mobile Banking and Trust Bank Mobile Money.

Digitizing Payments: From Theory to Practice

This workshop focused on the process of adopting mobile money by USAID IPs. Jeff deGraffenried, Activity Manager for mSTAR at USAID/Bangladesh, and M Ataur Rahman, mSTAR/Bangladesh Project Team Lead, gave an overview of mSTAR project and its key components. Jaheed Parvez, mSTAR/Bangladesh Technical Lead, then talked about the process of how MM can be incorporated in USAID projects and conducted a simulated group exercise for the participants.

Mobile Money Helps Managers Better Monitor Frontline Staff: Sanaur's Story

Adopting mobile money does not only bring benefits to development organizations, but it can also bring about dramatic change in the personal and professional lives of staff and beneficiaries. This MM Experience tells the story of Sanaur, a Program Coordinator working with Social Marketing Company's Blue Star program.  Sanaur's story illustrates how development organizations' use of mobile financial services can serve as an effective channel for increasing the financial inclusion of Bangladeshis. 

Less stress, at both work and home: Anamika's Story

Adopting mobile money does not only bring benefits to development organizations, but it can also bring about dramatic change in the personal and professional lives of staff and beneficiaries. This MM Experience tells the story of Anamika, an Extension Facilitator (EF) working with USAID's Aquaculture for Income and Nutrition (AIN) project implemented by WorldFish.  Anamika's story illustrates how development organizations' use of mobile financial services can serve as an effective channel for increasing the financial inclusion of rural Bangladeshis. 

Easier than a bank account: Razzak’s story

Adopting mobile money does not only bring benefits to development organizations, but it can also bring about dramatic change in the personal and professional lives of staff and beneficiaries. This MM Experience tells the story of Razzak, a Community Agriculture Volunteer (CAV) in Sirajgani district with CARE Bangladesh.  Razzak's story illustrates how development organizations' use of mobile financial services can serve as an effective channel for increasing the financial inclusion of rural Bangladeshis. 

Increasing Financial Independence through Mobile Money: Kallani's Story

Adopting mobile money does not only bring benefits to development organizations, but it can also bring about dramatic change in the personal and professional lives of staff and beneficiaries. This MM Experience tells the story of Kallani, a beneficiary farmer of USAID's Aquaculture for Income and Nutrition (AIN) program implemented by WorldFish. Kallani is now popularly known in her community as a mobile money champ. This is the sixth in a series created by mSTAR/Bangladesh to show the tangible benefits of mobile money on people's lives.

e-Payments: The New Default Payment Method for USAID Implementing Partners – Why, Where, When & How?

This workshop focused on USAID’s guidelines on using electronic payments in all USAID funded projects and programs. Bruce McFarland, USAID’s Global Development Lab’s Chief of Operational Innovation provided background on why the new guidance was put in place and an overview of how electronic payments should be incorporated into projects. USAID/Bangladesh’s IPs were able to share their concerns on the new guidelines and also get clarification on some clauses/ provisions.

Deep Dive into the Mobile Financial Services Offered in Bangladesh: Presentations by two leading providers | Workshop

USAID’s mSTAR project aims to increase operational efficiency and productivity across USAID Bangladesh’s agricultural and health portfolios through mobile and electronic payment adoption. Aligned with this objective, mSTAR Bangladesh facilitates quarterly and district-level technical workshops to increase awareness and competence of relevant USAID implementing partners (IPs) on the benefits of using mobile payments. 

mSTAR/Bangladesh: Mobile Money Consultative Group Meeting Highlights August 2015

The fourth Mobile Money Consultative Group (MMCG) meeting organized by USAID’s Mobile Solutions Technical Assistance and Research (mSTAR) project was held on August 18, 2015, at FHI 360’s Bangladesh Country office. It was attended by 19 people, including representatives from 10 development organizations and representatives from 3 mobile financial service providers: DBBL Mobile Banking, IFIC Mobile Banking and bKash. This summary provides meeting highlights.

A Story of Cash (and Inconvenience)

This infographic tells the story of cash transactions within Social Marketing Company's (SMC) Blue Star Provider (BSP) training program in Bangladesh from the perspective of their Program Officers-Field Operations (PO-FO)—and how it distracts from their primary job responsibilities.

From Farmer to a Mobile Money Champ: Sagor's Story

Adopting mobile money does not only bring benefits to development organizations, but it can also bring about dramatic change in the personal and professional lives of staff and beneficiaries. This MM Experience tells the story of Sagor, a beneficiary farmer of USAID's Aquaculture for Income and Nutrition (AIN) program implemented by WorldFish. Sagor is now popularly known in his community as a mobile money champ. This is the fifth in a series created by mSTAR/Bangladesh to show the tangible benefits of mobile money on people's lives.

mSTAR/Bangladesh: Technical Assistance Offerings for Making the Transition from Cash to Digital Payments

Why should you stop using cash? USAID released Procurement Executive’s Bulletin No. 2014-06 mandating that as of August 6, 2014 “electronic payment systems must be the default method of payment under all awards.” In other words, electronic or digital payments are the norm for all USAID awards moving forward. USAID’s mSTAR/Bangladesh project can help you align with this new requirement for free through the following types of on-demand, short-term technical assistance.