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LEAP III Bangladesh Policy and Regulatory Assessment

The U.S. Agency for International Development in Bangladesh (USAID/Bangladesh or the Mission) engaged Integra Government Services International (Integra) through the Learning, Evaluation, and Analysis Project III (LEAP III), to conduct an assessment (the Assessment) and prepare a draft scope of work (SOW) for an upcoming five-year, $10-15 million activity under the Mission’s Feed the Future (FtF) program (the Activity). Through this new activity, the Mission will improve policy implementation in four key pillar areas: 1) seeds, 2) food safety, 3) social safety nets (SSN) and 4) nutrition.

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.

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 Snapshot: Use Cases of Mobile Financial Services in Bangladesh (by Payment Type)

This document illustrates some of the different ways that mobile financial services (MFS) are being used in Bangladesh. It intends to help USAID’s implementing partners learn more about how mobile financial services are being and have been used for different purposes across different projects and programs implemented by government agencies, private sector players and development organizations.

Mobile Money Snapshot: Use Cases of Mobile Financial Services in Bangladesh (by Beneficiary)

This document illustrates some of the different ways that mobile financial services (MFS) are being used with different types of beneficiaries in Bangladesh. It intends to help USAID’s implementing partners learn more about how mobile financial services are being and have been used across different projects and programs implemented by government agencies, private sector players and development organizations.

Agent Banking 101

Agent banking is the latest innovation in banking services available in Bangladesh. It aims to provide formal banking services to the unbanked, including populations that have traditionally been more inaccessible. Although officially sanctioned by Bangladesh Bank in late 2013, agent banking has only recently started to take off in Bangladesh in the past year and a half. It represents another channel, like mobile financial services, promoted by the Government of Bangladesh to promote financial inclusion.

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. 

Mobile Money Tipsheet: Bridging the Mobile Financial Services Gender Divide

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. These tipsheets are intended to assist USAID implementing partners in Bangladesh to more effectively make use of mobile financial services.

mSTAR/Bangladesh: Mobile Money Consultative Group Meeting Minutes February 2015

The mSTAR/Bangladesh-organized Mobile Money Consultative Group held its second meeting on February 19, 2015. The MMCG serves as a platform through which stakeholders can share their experiences using mobile money, as well as to identify opportunities for new product innovations and barriers that may exist in effectively using existing products to reach remote and underserved populations. Over 20 representatives from the donor community and development sector attended and contributed to the constructive dialogue. This summary provides meeting highlights. 

Mobile Money in Action: Myths, Facts and Simulations | Workshop Report

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. 

The Future of Mobile Payments in USAID Health Projects and Programs: Workshop Report

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. This workshop focused on training frontline manager on MM and its benefits, and on the role of the mSTAR project.

Bangladesh Portfolio Assessment

The mobile banking market in Bangladesh has seen rapid growth in recent years. However, significant progress still needs to be made before Bangladesh’s poor can fully realize the benefits of mobile banking. One area that promises significant near term opportunities to serve the needs of these groups is in government-sponsored payments. By utilizing mobile money or e-payment mechanisms, inefficiencies associated with disbursements can be reduced.

Mobile Money Infosheet: mCash

mCash, which is operated by Islami Bank Bangladesh Limited, offers a range of products and services, including cash transfers between individuals (P2P) and between businesses/organizations and individuals (B2P), fund transfer between bank accounts to/from mobile accounts, student fee payments, salary disbursements and withdrawals, bill payments, merchant payments, airtime purchases, and international remittance payments. Its accounts are set up in accordance with Mudaraba Principles of Islamic Shari’ah.

YFS-Link Video: Farzana Kashfi, BRAC, Bangladesh

BRAC’s Social & Financial Empowerment of Adolescents (SoFEA) program offers a holistic approach to financial services, supplementing savings and credit products with a “club,” where adolescent female clients have a safe place to meet.