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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.

Assessing the Impact of Digitally-Enabled Microcredit for Smallholder Farmers: Findings from the A-Card pilot initiative

mSTAR/Bangladesh, working with the Agriculture Extension Support Activity (AESA) led by Dhaka Ahsania Mission (DAM), conducted pre- and post-assessments in Faridpur district to understand the impact that a micro-credit product (called A-Card) delivered to smallholder farmers through Bank Asia’s agent banking had on participating farmers, associated ag-input retailers, and other relevant stakeholders, as well as to understand what further action can be taken to improve uptake of these services.

Understanding Mobile-Enabled Agri-Credit Adoption Among Rice Farmers

The mSTAR/Bangladesh project, working with the Rice Value Chain (RVC) Project led by the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), conducted pre- and post-assessments in Jessore and Satkhira to understand the benefits, challenges and overall experience of farmers who adopted an agri-credit product delivered via IFIC Mobile Banking. This product provided loans for agricultural inputs to smallholder farmers amounting to BDT 10,000 (US $125) with a six-month repayment period.

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.

Dispute Landscape & Market Governance

This report investigates how frequently disputes occur, their underlying causes, and avenues for recourse function vis-a-vis a market's governance structure.

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.

Agricultural Value Chains Insights: Opportunities in Bangladesh Event Highlights

The Agricultural Value Chains Insights: Opportunities in Bangladesh event was held on November 22, 2016 at the Amari Hotel in Dhaka. It was co-hosted by USAID’s Mobile Solutions Technical Assistance and Research (mSTAR) project, implemented by FHI 360, and USAID’s Agricultural Value Chains (AVC) project, implemented by DAI. The event was attended by 50 participants from 30 organizations.

Increased Income Earning Opportunities: Bala’s Story

Kuber Chandra Bala is a fish farmer who had previously participated in trainings offered by USAID's Aquaculture for Income and Nutrition (AIN) project. In 2014, AIN began paying training incentives to farmers like Bala via mobile money. Bala soon started using his MFS account to make purchases and top up his mobile airtime, saving him time and money. With the time saved, he was able to engage in other income-earning opportunities. This is the tenth in a series created by mSTAR/Bangladesh to show the tangible benefits of digital financial services on people's lives.

mSTAR/Bangladesh: Technical Assistance to IRRI Bangladesh

The Rice Value Chain (RVC) project is a 15-month pilot project run by the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) Bangladesh to support the private sector with the goal of improving the efficiency of the rice value chain. RVC is working through eight partners and the intervention areas are mostly in the south and southwest of Bangladesh.

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.

Mobile Money Integration Assessment for Agro-Inputs Project

The mSTAR team received a request from the Agro-Inputs Project (AIP) on April 29, 2015, to investigate the scope of integrating mobile money in their project. The mSTAR team conducted a scoping study covering AIP Khulna field office, members of the Agro-Input Retailers’ Network (AIRN) and farmers in order to: i) Understand the financial behavior of wholesalers, retailers, and farmers during peak and off-peak season. ii) Map the transaction flow between wholesalers, retailers, and farmers during peak and off-peak season.

The Transition Benefit: From Cash to Mobile Financial Services in the Aponjon Initiative, Bangladesh

This assessment was conducted to systematically understand the benefit of transitioning from cash to mobile financial services (MFS), under an mHealth initiative for expectant and new mothers (branded as Aponjon), which is run by Dnet in Bangladesh. The transition was made with an expectation of efficiency gains in Aponjon’s incentive payment system to Aponjon agents at the community level, which are provided to them for customer acquisitions that they make.

Avoiding Theft in Urban Slums: Khadija'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 Khadija, a health agent with Dnet's MAMA Initiative, who is now more empowered and in control of her money as a result of Dnet's transition to paying her with mobile money. This is the fourth in a series created by mSTAR/Bangladesh to show the tangible benefits of mobile money on people's lives.

mSTAR/Bangladesh: Mobile Money Consultative Group Meeting Highlights August 2014

mSTAR/Bangladesh organized a Mobile Money Consultative Group in Bangladesh and they held their first meeting on August 27, 2014. The goal of this important group is to provide a platform for organizations to discuss opportunities, challenges, gaps and benefits of using mobile financial services. Over 20 representatives from the donor community and development sector attended and contributed to the constructive dialogue.

FIELD Report No. 21: Understanding Systemic Change in the Vegetable Seed Market – A Qualitative Assessment

This report from the FIELD-Support LWA examines changes in the local market system resulting from the introduction of vegetable seed mini-packets in Bangladesh (facilitated through an Action for Enterprise program), and how those changes affected local farmers and their households. It first presents the findings of a market system assessment based on a review of secondary data and in-depth interviews (IDIs) with market actors.

Mobile Money Snapshot: Save the Children

USAID promotes increased access to and usage of mobile financial services in order to deepen financial inclusion, accelerate broad-based economic growth, and instill transparency into funding flows. mSTAR/Bangladesh produces these mobile money snapshots describe the experiences of USAID- and non-USAID-funded organizations that have begun to replace cash with digital payments so that others can apply their lessons learned to their own transition to digital payments.

Smart Usage of Mobile Money in Projects & Programs in Bangladesh: Workshop Report

mSTAR Bangladesh held its third quarterly workshop on June 12, 2014, focusing on the smart usage of mobile money and developing an enabling financial ecosystem. The workshop also discussed the future of mobile money in Bangladesh and the potentially huge impact it could have on increasing financial inclusion. The workshop was attended by 19 participants representing 9 organizations. See workshop report for full details.