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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.

mSTAR/Bangladesh Final Evaluation

mSTAR's activity in Bangladesh ran from September 2013 until September 2017. Its primary objective was to assist USAID/Bangladesh to integrate digital payments in the programs and operations of implementing partners, as well as to support expansion of the digital payments industry in ways that are beneficial to USAID programs and USAID’s broader development objectives at an ecosystem level.

mSTAR/Bangladesh: Technical Assistance to the USAID SAPLING project

This report outlines the technical assistance provided by mSTAR/Bangladesh to the USAID-funded Development Food Assistance Program, Sustainable Agriculture and Production Linked to Improved Nutrition Status Resilience and Gender Equity (SAPLING), implemented by Helen Keller International.

Opportunities for Digital Financial Services for Agricultural Mechanization in Bangladesh: A Market Landscape Assessment

The mSTAR/Bangladesh project, working with the Cereal Systems Initiative for South Asia - Mechanization and Irrigation (CSISA-MI) project, conducted an assessment in six districts of southwest Bangladesh to look at opportunities for digital financial services integration in agricultural mechanization services. This included an examination of potential financial products that could be proposed to financial institutions for creating opportunities for mechanization service providers and users to access financial support through digital channels.

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.

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

The 9th Mobile Money Consultative Group (MMCG) meeting was held on May 30, 2017 at the Bangabandhu International Conference Center in Dhaka, with a focus on the “Role of the Regulators in Accelerating DFS Promotion”. It was organized by USAID’s Mobile Solutions Technical Assistance and Research (mSTAR) project and hosted by the UN Capital Development Fund (UNCDF). The meeting was attended by over 30 participants from 23 organizations.

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.

Agent Banking Infosheet: NRB Commercial Bank

This two-page publication provides an overview of the agent banking services offered by NRB Commercial Bank in Bangladesh for corporate users. It includes steps for setting up a corporate account, details on pricing and transaction limits, brief examples of how other organizations are using their service, 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 digital financial services in Bangladesh.

Workshop on Digital Payments for AIRN Members through Agent Banking

mSTAR/Bangladesh received a technical assistance request from the Agro-Inputs Retailers Network (AIRN), which is supported by USAID’s Agro-Inputs Project, in February 2017 to support them to explore DFS adoption among AIRN members. In connection with that request, mSTAR/B conducted two technical workshops for AIRN members in March 2017 about using agent banking for digital payments. Md. Ataur Rahman, mSTAR/B Team Lead, facilitated the workshop sessions.

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.

Digitizing Worker Salary Payments: A Manual for Ready-made Garment Factories

This manual provides a blueprint for ready-made garment factories in Bangladesh, and those organizations supporting them, who are interested in using mobile financial services (MFS) to make salary payments to their workers. It includes background information on MFS, the possible benefits and challenges, and useful tips and checklists for implementing MFS salary payments. 

Digital Financial Services for Agriculture: Opportunities in Bangladesh

This infographic outlines some of the key opportunities for introducing digital financial services to agricultural value chain actors in Bangladesh. It is based on findings from a more detailed assessment entitled Integrating Digital Financial Services into Agricultural Value Chains: A Bangladesh Market Landscape Assessment. 

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.

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.

Mobile Money Infosheet: TeleCash

This two page publication provides an overview of the mobile financial services offered by Southeast Bank Limited, under the brand name TeleCash, in Bangladesh for corporate users. It includes steps for setting up a corporate account, details on pricing and transaction limits, brief examples of how other organizations are using their service, 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.

Digital Financial Service Product Innovation #2 - IFIC Mobile Banking

The Feed the Future Bangladesh Rice Value Chain (RVC) project funded by USAID and implemented by the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), Bangladesh, is partnering with IFIC Bank Limited with support from mSTAR/Bangladesh to pilot a new agri-credit facility for farmers in Jessore and Satkhira districts. This learning document provides more details about this exciting DFS product innovation, including its benefits and the roles of those involved.