Update from Cash Essentials

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Digital finance / mobile money in Africa

Aug. 4, 2022, 7:37 p.m.

James Shepherd-Barron

Dear fellow CaLPers and MiCers.

Here are recent highlights from academic and cash management industry
sources that you might find relevant for your cash and markets-based
policy-making and programming.

With thanks to Prof. Batiz-Lazo of Northumbria University, the NEP Project
(General information on the NEP project can be found at http://nep.repec.org),
Currency News International, The Payments Journal, Cash & Payments News,
ATM Marketplace and Payments Afrika.

For a wider perspective on Cash and Crises, see:
https://cashessentials.org/cash-crises/

*Cooper: How ATMs deliver remittances; ATM Marketplace (online), 2 August
2022*

The remittance market – in which migrant workers send funds back home to
family members – was valued at $17.88 billion in 2021 and is expected to
grow at a compound annual growth rate of 15% from 2022 to 2030. Although
migrants use a number of methods to send funds, one popular avenue is cash,
due in part to the lack of digital payments options in many countries. As a
result, migrant workers are using methods such as prepaid debit cards,
which their family members can then redeem for cash at ATMs. Meanwhile,
remittances have become the most important source of foreign exchange
inflows to emerging economies, a trend which continued even through the
Covid pandemic.

You can access the full article here. It is of relevance despite appearing
in an ATM industry publication

https://www.atmmarketplace.com/articles/how-atms-deliver-remittances/

*Ebner: Stablecoins - what they mean for the future of money; Schroders, 18
July 2022*

In this ‘must read’ article, the investment bank Schroders argues that
stablecoins offer a cheaper and faster alternative to payments processing
and international remittances, giving rise to a first real-world use case
for digital assets. The benefits start with the ability to hold stablecoins
in digital wallets on phones without going through the banking system. This
allows people to make payments, including sending currency globally
instantly and, essentially, free of charge. No more fees of 3% or more and
no more long delays in settlements. More competition in domestic payment
markets should also drive down card fees. Furthermore, programmable money
using smart contracts is possible with stablecoins. Schroders gives
examples of governments using this capability to target fiscal expenditure,
enable tiered interest rates for selected groups and to make direct
payments to households. Finally, digital wallets allow financial products
to become open-sourced and programmable. This offers opportunities to give
the unbanked access to financial products.

https://www.schroders.com/en/gr/professional-investor/insights/markets/stablecoins--what-they-mean-for-the-future-of-money/

*Seitz and Rösl: **On the Stabilizing Role of Cash for Societies; Institute
for Monetary and Financial Stability, Goethe University of Frankfurt;
Working Paper Series No.167, June 2022*

This paper focuses on the stabilising role of cash from a society-wide
perspective. Starting with conceptual remarks on the importance of money
for the economy in general, special attention is paid to the unique
characteristics of cash. Using two separate case studies, one on
demonetization in India in 2016 and the other on cash supply during various
crises in Greece since 2008, the paper concludes that an efficient payment
mix necessarily includes cash as it helps stabilise an economy in times of
crises.

You can access the full paper here:

https://www.imfs-frankfurt.de/fileadmin/user_upload/IMFS_WP/IMFS_WP_167.pdf

*Shy: Digital Currency, Digital Payments, and the ‘Last Mile’to the
Unbanked; Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta Occasional Policy Paper No.9,
August 2021*

Digital forms of payment are either not accessible or highly costly for
unbanked consumers. This is because these forms of payment must be "funded"
by some source of money, such as cash or a bank account. That creates the
"last-mile" problem for the unbanked. This article examines the various
solutions, including those offered by pre-paid debit cards and M-Pesa.

You can access the full paper here:

https://www.atlantafed.org/-/media/documents/research/publications/policy-hub/2021/08/02/09-digital-payments-and-unbanked.pdf

*Zetzsche et al: DLT-Based Enhancement of Cross-Border Payment Efficiency –
a Legal and Regulatory Perspective; Bank of International Settlements
Working Paper No.1015, May 2022*

Financial laws and regulations assume that regulated activities and
functions are concentrated in a single legal entity responsible and
accountable for operations and compliance. Even with regard to financial
market infrastructure where the regulatory perspective acknowledges the
need for interoperability of many entities as a system, each entity is
subject to its own rules and regulations and can thus meet its own
compliance requirements independent of other system participants. The
entity-focused regulatory paradigm is under pressure in the world of
international payments where some ledgers, and thus the performance of the
services, are distributed. DLT arrangements could provide an alternative to
the traditional reliance on a mutually trusted central entity to transfer
funds and enable the creation of new foundational infrastructures by
distributing technical functions or linking existing systems. As such, we
identify and outline concepts for use cases where DLT has potential for
improving the efficiency of cross-border payments.

You can access the full paper here: https://www.bis.org/publ/work1015.pdf

*Kouladoum et al: Digital Technologies and Financial Inclusion in
Sub-Saharan Africa; European Xtramile Centre of African Studies Working
Paper 034, 2022*

This meta-analysis finds that the rate of financial inclusion in Sub
Saharan Africa rises with increasing digital technologies and suggests
there should be more investment in terms of promoting financial and
technological infrastructures and also in the human capital sector since
financial literacy can play an important part in promoting financial
stability and inclusive finance in Africa.

You can access the full paper here. It has not been peer-reviewed:
http://publications.excas.org/RePEc/exs/exs-wpaper/Digital-Technologies-and-Financial-Inclusion-in-Sub-Saharan-Africa.pdf

*James Shepherd-Barron MIH, PhD (hc)*
*Disaster Management Consultant* (*in case you're wondering, this means I
advise Governments, UN Agencies, International NGOs and the private sector
on the modelling and management of international disaster risk*)

I am also an Adjunct Professor at Fordham University and CEO of The* Aid
Workers Union*, the support service for independent aid professionals (
https://www.aidworkersunion.org)

Mobile: +44 7785 70 34 90
Skype: james.s-b
Twitter: @jshepherdbarron
https://www.aidworkersunion.org <https: www.aidessentials.org="">

- DREAM BIG - Demonstrate vision and insight
- BE BOLD - Have the courage to take risks and make tough decisions
- OWN IT - Take full accountability for your decisions and actions
- WORK AS A TEAM - Don't just coordinate, collaborate
- DO THE RIGHT THING - Conduct yourself with honesty and integrity at
all times
- SHOW RESPECT - Treat others as you would expect to be treated
- LOVE WHAT YOU DO - Bring passion and pride to what you do

The information contained in this e-mail message may be privileged,
confidential, and protected from disclosure. Any unauthorised use,
printing, copying, disclosure, dissemination of or reliance upon this
communication by persons other than the intended recipient may be subject
to legal restriction, sanction or redress. If you think you have received
this e-mail in error, please reply to the sender to that effect and delete
this email promptly.

Please note: This email has been checked for computer viruses, but be
aware that this service is not 100% reliable. Do not open any attachment
unless you have specifically requested it. The sender bears no
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</https:>

July 13, 2022, 8:51 a.m.

James Shepherd-Barron

Dear fellow CaLPers and MiCers.

Here are recent highlights from academic and cash management industry
sources that you might find relevant for your cash and markets-based
programming.

With thanks to Prof. Batiz-Lazo of Northumbria University, the NEP Project
(General information on the NEP project can be found at http://nep.repec.org),
Currency News International, The Payments Journal, Cash & Payments News,
ATM Marketplace and Payments Afrika.

For a wider perspective on *Cash and Crises*, see:
https://cashessentials.org/cash-crises

*Danish Payments Overview: Cash & Payments News, 24 June 2022*

The National Bank of Denmark has issued an analysis that summarises the
full range of digital money options available today. The analysis describes
with great clarity how payments are organised and their strengths and
weaknesses. Beyond looking at cash, bank deposits and e-money, the paper
explains stablecoins and reviews CBDCs in detail. A relatively short
document captures in one place a great overview of the contemporary payment
landscape.

https://www.nationalbanken.dk/en/publications/Documents/2022/06/ANALYSIS_no%208_New%20types%20of%20digital%20money.pdf

*Vinsel and Funk: Blinded by the Hype; Openmind.org online, 23 June 2022 *

This article is a bit outside the remit of this update as it doesn’t
mention cash or fintech once. Yet, it asks us to consider what happens when
we fail to distinguish between genuine technological innovation and the
weaponised form of collective over-optimism we call ‘hype’? It asks us to
apply four basic tests to technological innovation: 1) Does this technology
allow more things to be done with less effort? 2) Are the companies behind
the tech profitable? 3) Does the technology solve an existing problem? 4)
Does using the technology improve quality of life for everyone? Replace the
word ‘tech’ with the word ‘fintech’ when reading the article and ask
yourself these questions in the context of how a low-income society is
supposed to function when cash is gone. Who, exactly, are we enriching when
we advocate for digital cash transfers?

To read the full article, see
https://www.openmindmag.org/articles/blinded-by-the-hype

*Bilici & Cevik: Financial Literacy and Cash Holdings in Turkey; Central
Bank of Turkey, Working Paper No.22/02, April 2022*

This in-house paper examines the effect of financial literacy level on cash
holdings in Turkey. The results imply that promoting financial literacy may
result in less cash usage at points of sale accompanied by growth of
currency in circulation growth.

For the full paper, see
https://www.tcmb.gov.tr/wps/wcm/connect/a44693ab-6a07-4818-81aa-ed168a3044dc/2202wp.pdf?MOD=AJPERES&CACHEID=ROOTWORKSPACE-a44693ab-6a07-4818-81aa-ed168a3044dc-o1QhLXi

*Murakami: Understanding Financial Inclusion in Mongolia from a Micro
Perspective - Is There a Gender Gap? JICA Institute for Research and
Development, Working Paper No.232, March 2022*

This paper investigates the determinants of financial inclusion in Mongolia
and finds that women, and those who are more educated and older are more
likely to be financially included. This, the author suggests, reflects
behavioural or unobserved differences towards financial inclusion between
men and women.

For the full paper, see
https://jicari.repo.nii.ac.jp/?action=pages_view_main&active_action=repository_view_main_item_detail&item_id=1087&item_no=1&page_id=13&block_id=21

If you find any academic literature or serious articles on a similar theme
and would like to share them with the group and/or the cash management
industry, please make me aware and I will do my best to include them.

Regards to All,

*James Shepherd-Barron MIH, PhD (hc)*
*Disaster Management Consultant* (*in case you're wondering, this means I
advise Governments, UN Agencies, International NGOs and the private sector
on the modelling and management of international disaster risk*)

I am also an Adjunct Professor at Fordham University and CEO of The* Aid
Workers Union*, the support service for independent aid professionals (
https://www.aidworkersunion.org)

Mobile: +44 7785 70 34 90
Skype: james.s-b
Twitter: @jshepherdbarron
https://www.aidworkersunion.org <https: www.aidessentials.org="">

- DREAM BIG - Demonstrate vision and insight
- BE BOLD - Have the courage to take risks and make tough decisions
- OWN IT - Take full accountability for your decisions and actions
- WORK AS A TEAM - Don't just coordinate, collaborate
- DO THE RIGHT THING - Conduct yourself with honesty and integrity at
all times
- SHOW RESPECT - Treat others as you would expect to be treated
- LOVE WHAT YOU DO - Bring passion and pride to what you do

The information contained in this e-mail message may be privileged,
confidential, and protected from disclosure. Any unauthorised use,
printing, copying, disclosure, dissemination of or reliance upon this
communication by persons other than the intended recipient may be subject
to legal restriction, sanction or redress. If you think you have received
this e-mail in error, please reply to the sender to that effect and delete
this email promptly.

Please note: This email has been checked for computer viruses, but be
aware that this service is not 100% reliable. Do not open any attachment
unless you have specifically requested it. The sender bears no
responsibility for any such transmission.
</https:>

June 15, 2022, 9:46 a.m.

James Shepherd-Barron

Dear fellow CaLPers and MiCers.

Here are recent highlights from academic and cash management industry
sources that you might find relevant for your cash and markets-based
programming.

With thanks to Prof. Batiz-Lazo of Northumbria University, the NEP Project
(General information on the NEP project can be found at http://nep.repec.org),
Currency News International, The Payments Journal, Cash & Payments News,
ATM Marketplace and Payments Afrika.

For a wider perspective on Cash and Crises, see:
https://cashessentials.org/cash-crises

*The Cashless Effect - Why Credit Cards Make It So Difficult to Budget; Sci
Tech Daily, 27 May 2022*

The cashless effect describes our increased willingness to buy products and
to pay more for them when no physical money changes hands. Bank cards
facilitate our buying behaviour by reducing the so-called “pain of
payment.” They do this by ‘decoupling’ (disassociating) payments from
consumption. It’s much easier to part with money when it isn’t tangible.

The cashless effect can theoretically occur anytime we use digital forms of
payment, which, as we move to cashless societies, has the potential to make
overspending a rampant problem. That said, a 2021 meta-analysis of studies
carried out after 2004 revealed that the cashless effect has become weaker
over the years, perhaps because technological advances have made it
possible for us to check our credit card balances before getting the bill

To read the full article in Sci Tech Daily, an online consumer affairs
magazine, see:
https://scitechdaily.com/the-cashless-effect-why-credit-cards-make-it-so-difficult-to-budget/

*Swartz: Digital payments increase convenience but exacerbate inequality;
MIT Technology Review, 15 April 2022*

For all the friction that cashless payments aim to eliminate, far weightier
social barriers and inequalities result. Cash is the best transactional
tool for increasing community and individual autonomy that we have invented
so far. It offers many affordances that prove hard to replicate. It is low
cost, difficult to censor, and difficult to surveil. It does not depend on
brittle technologies. But it does have major flaws. Cash can be lost,
destroyed or stolen. Most important, perhaps, it can’t be spent online, and
therefore it does not move at the speed of the rest of our digital lives.

To read the full article, see:
https://www.technologyreview.com/2022/04/15/1049604/cash-digital-payments-money/

*Newey et al: COVID-19 More Likely to Spread Through Plastic Credit Cards
than Bank Notes; Brigham Young University, 25 January 2022*

The highly contagious nature of SARS-CoV-2 has led to several studies on
the transmission of the virus. A little studied potential fomite of great
concern in the community is currency, which has been shown to harbor
microbial pathogens in several studies. Since the onset of the COVID-19
pandemic, many businesses in the United States have limited the use of
banknotes in favor of credit cards. However, SARS-CoV-2 has shown greater
stability on plastic in several studies. Herein, the stability of
SARS-CoV-2 at room temperature on banknotes, money cards and coins was
investigated. In vitro studies with live virus suggested SARS-CoV-2 was
highly unstable on banknotes, showing an initial rapid reduction in viable
virus and no viral detection by 24 hours. In contrast, SARS-CoV-2 displayed
increased stability on money cards with live virus detected after 48 hours.
Environmental swabbing of currency and money cards on and near the campus
of Brigham Young University supported these results, with no detection of
SARS-CoV-2 RNA on banknotes, and a low level on money cards. However, no
viable virus was detected on either. These preliminary results suggest that
the use of money cards over banknotes in order to slow the spread of this
virus may be ill-advised. These findings should be investigated further
through larger environmental studies involving more location.

https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0263025

*Kenya Bankers Association: Bankers, Payments Firms and Retailers in Drive
to Reduce Consumer Exposure to Fraudsters; Payments Afrika, 11 May 2022*

Consumer education will play a central role in addressing emerging security
challenges across Africa. In Kenya, players in the financial, payments and
retail sectors highlight the importance of continuing to empower the public
with information on fraud prevention. Emerging financial security threats
are increasingly targeting mobile and internet banking channels due to the
enhanced use of digital payments, with fraudsters exploiting low levels of
awareness on financial security to cause security breaches on contactless
payments platforms. Over the past few years, cases of social engineering
and identity theft have persisted. Similarly, cases of phishing emails,
malware attacks and baiting have scaled up in tandem with the enhanced
uptake of internet and mobile transaction platforms. A holistic approach to
cyber security by developing partnerships is needed to address the
challenge.

For the full article, see:
https://paymentsafrika.com/africa/bankers-payments-firms-and-retailers-in-drive-to-reduce-consumer-exposure-to-fraudsters/

*Winchcombe: Role of Cash in a Digital World; December 2021*

The journalist David Sax has written a book ‘Revenge of the Analog: Real
Things and Why They Matter’. He makes an interesting case for analogue
products such as banknotes. His argument is that the continued use of
analogue products is not a rejection of the digital world. It is because
they bring extra ‘human’ dimensions which the digital fails to deliver.
Analog complements the digital, enriching lives and adding value. In the
commercial world analogue products exist when they add value and deliver
something the digital world misses. Central banks need to consider
carefully the balance of physical and digital.

https://currency-news.com/news/2021/dec/01/role-cash-digital-world/

*Van Roosebeke et al: E-Money and Deposit Insurance in Kenya; International
Association of Deposit Insurers, Vol.6, December 2021*

E-money is widespread in Kenya, especially through MPESA, a form of e-money
stored on mobile phones and issued by Safaricom, a mobile network operator
(MNO). Integration between the MPESA platform and the traditional banking
system is increasing. Given the very high use-grade of MPESA throughout the
population, it has reached critical importance in Kenya. In Kenya, e-money
issuers must back their e-value with bank balances at commercial banks
(float), through trust accounts. Deposit insurance does not cover a default
of the e-money issuer. However, the Kenya Deposit Insurance Corporation
aims at offering pass-through coverage in case of a default of the
deposit-taking commercial bank holding the trust accounts. Pass-through
coverage is confronted with a number of challenges, including regarding
data on the identity of e-money users and their balances held. Also, the
critical importance of MPESA raises questions as to how to deal with a
potential default of the MNO and the role of deposit insurance in such a
scenario. Looking forward, there is merit in further coordination amongst
safety net participants as well as in the management of trust accounts and
the strengthening of data-availability requirements to e-money issuers.

For the full paper, see:
https://www.iadi.org/en/assets/File/Papers/Fintech%20Briefs/IADI%20Fintech%20Brief%206%20E-money%20and%20Deposit%20Insurance%20in%20Kenya.pdf

*Patrick-Hervé Mbouombouo Mfossa. Mobile money-driven financial inclusion,
exposure to shocks and households’ financial resilience strategies adoption
process: Evidence from Cameroon, 2022*

This paper discusses how mobile money account ownership and usage affect
the choices and effectiveness of households’ multivariate and
interdependent financial resilience strategies.

The paper is work-in-progress and has not been peer-reviewed. You can find
it at: https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-03614064/document

*Junius et al: Costs of retail payments – an overview of recent national
studies in Europe; Occasional Paper Series No.294, European Central Bank,
May 2022*

The paper provides an overview of studies on the social and private costs
of retail payments conducted since 2013 in nine EU countries and collates
the results obtained. Social costs of retail payments are the overall costs
resulting from providing payment services to society and deriving from the
resource costs incurred by all parties along the payment chain. Private
costs, in contrast, are the costs incurred by the individual stakeholder
only, such as banks and other payment intermediaries. Understanding the
social and private costs of retail payments is crucial for assessing the
impact of the rapidly changing retail payment landscape, such as the shift
to electronic payments, and for designing strategies for moving towards
cost efficient retail payments.

For more, see:
https://www.ecb.europa.eu//pub/pdf/scpops/ecb.op294~8ac480631a.en.pdf
<https: ecb.op294~8ac480631a.en.pdf="" pdf="" pub="" scpops="" www.ecb.europa.eu="">

*Ofori et al: Remittances and Income Inequality in Africa: Financial
Development Thresholds for Economic Policy; Leibniz Information Centre for
Economics, online May 2022*

Remittances contribute to the widening of the income disparity gap in
Africa. This paper outlines policy recommendations to narrow the gap.

This paper has not been peer-reviewed. To access it, go to:
https://www.econstor.eu/bitstream/10419/253654/1/Ofori-et-al-2022-Remittances-FD-Inequality.pdf

Please let me know if you have any comments on these or previous posts.

All the Best.

*James Shepherd-Barron MIH, PhD (hc)*
*Disaster Management Consultant* (*in case you're wondering, this means I
advise Governments, UN Agencies, International NGOs and the private sector
on the modelling and management of international disaster risk*)

I am also an Adjunct Professor at Fordham University and CEO of The* Aid
Workers Union*, the support service for independent aid professionals (
https://www.aidworkersunion.org)

Mobile: +44 7785 70 34 90
Skype: james.s-b
Twitter: @jshepherdbarron
https://www.aidworkersunion.org <https: www.aidessentials.org="">

- DREAM BIG - Demonstrate vision and insight
- BE BOLD - Have the courage to take risks and make tough decisions
- OWN IT - Take full accountability for your decisions and actions
- WORK AS A TEAM - Don't just coordinate, collaborate
- DO THE RIGHT THING - Conduct yourself with honesty and integrity at
all times
- SHOW RESPECT - Treat others as you would expect to be treated
- LOVE WHAT YOU DO - Bring passion and pride to what you do

The information contained in this e-mail message may be privileged,
confidential, and protected from disclosure. Any unauthorised use,
printing, copying, disclosure, dissemination of or reliance upon this
communication by persons other than the intended recipient may be subject
to legal restriction, sanction or redress. If you think you have received
this e-mail in error, please reply to the sender to that effect and delete
this email promptly.

Please note: This email has been checked for computer viruses, but be
aware that this service is not 100% reliable. Do not open any attachment
unless you have specifically requested it. The sender bears no
responsibility for any such transmission.
</https:></https:>

April 29, 2022, 12:58 p.m.

James Shepherd-Barron

Dear fellow CaLPers and MiCers.

Here are recent highlights from academic and cash management industry
sources that you might find relevant for your cash and markets-based
programming.

With thanks to Prof. Batiz-Lazo of Northumbria University, the NEP Project
(General information on the NEP project can be found at http://nep.repec.org),
Currency News International, The Payments Journal, Cash & Payments News,
ATM Marketplace and Payments Afrika.

For a wider perspective on Cash and Crises, see:
https://cashessentials.org/cash-crises/

*Council of the European Union Recommendation 2022/C 166/01: On the
conversion of Hryvnia banknotes into the currency of host Member States for
the benefit of displaced persons from Ukraine; 19 April 2022*

In this ground-breaking recommendation, the EU recognises that displaced
persons from Ukraine have urgent liquidity needs in neighbouring countries
and that many of them face extreme difficulty in converting their Hryvnia
banknotes into the currency of their host country, where banks fear
over-exposure to exchange rate risk. This European Council recommendation
calls on Member States to allow registered displaced persons to convert up
to a limit of 10,000 Hryvnias per person at the official exchange rate as
published by the National Bank of Ukraine without charge for three months.

For the full recommendation, see: https://eur-lex.europa.eu [document
32022H0420(01)]

* Di Maggio et al: Invisible Primes - Fintech Lending with Alternative
Data; U.S National Bureau of Economic Research, Working Paper 29840; March
2022*

We investigate whether using alternative data to assess borrowers'
creditworthiness results in broader credit access. Comparing actual
outcomes of a fintech platform’s model to counterfactual outcomes based on
a ‘traditional model’, we find that the latter would result in a 70% higher
probability of being rejected and higher interest rates for those approved.
The borrowers most positively affected are the ‘invisible primes’—borrowers
with low credit scores and short credit histories, but also a low
propensity to default. We show that funding loans to these borrowers leads
to better economic outcomes for the borrowers and higher returns for the
fintech platform.

For the full paper, see:
https://www.nber.org/system/files/working_papers/w29840/w29840.pdf

*Gomes & Mantovani: Regulating Platform Fees under Price Parity; Toulouse
School of Economics, Working Paper No.1325, March 2022*

Online intermediaries greatly expand consumer information, but also raise
sellers’ marginal costs by charging high commissions. To prevent
disintermediation, some platforms adopted price parity and anti-steering
provisions, which restrict sellers’ ability to use alternative sales
channels. Whether to uphold, reform, or ban these provisions has been at
the centre of the policy debate, but, so far, little consensus has emerged.
As an alternative, this paper studies how to cap platforms’ commissions.
The utilitarian cap reflects the Pigouvian precept according to which the
platform should charge net fees no greater than the informational
externality it exerts on other market participants.

For the full paper, see:

https://www.tse-fr.eu/sites/default/files/TSE/documents/doc/wp/2022/wp_tse_1325.pdf

*Payments Afrika: The Central Bank of Kenya Welcomes the Launch of Mobile
Money Merchant Interoperability; online 18 April 2022*

The Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) welcomes the launch, of mobile money
merchant interoperability by three mobile money providers (networks);
Airtel Networks Kenya Limited, Safaricom PLC, and Telkom Kenya Limited.
This is an important step in the evolution of Kenya’s payment services, as
it allows customers of these mobile money providers to make payments to any
merchant regardless of the network they subscribe to. The lack of full
interoperability has increased the complexity, time and costs associated
with making payments. As outlined in the National Payments Strategy
2022-2025 the overall aim is to provide customers with a seamless, secure
and affordable means to send and receive money in any network.

For the full paper, see:

https://paymentsafrika.com/africa/launch-of-mobile-money-merchant-interoperability/

*Card Scheme Costs; Cash & Payments News, 30 March 2022*

Mastercard has just said that over half of the world’s in person payments
are now made using contactless technology. In the UK, the Payment Systems
Regulator (PSR) carried out a market review of card acquiring and found
that the fees charged for card payments had increased significantly. It
also identified a lack of transparency in fees charged to retailers.
Cross-border interchange fees had also increased significantly. The PSR’s
concern is that fees are passed on to consumers and that there are
insufficient competitive constraints on card schemes.

For the full article, see:

https://cashpaymentnews.com/news/2022/mar/30/payment-news/

Regards

*James Shepherd-Barron MIH, PhD (hc)*
*Disaster Management Consultant* (*in case you're wondering, this means I
advise Governments, UN Agencies, International NGOs and the private sector
on the modelling and management of international disaster risk*)

I am also an Adjunct Professor at Fordham University and CEO of The* Aid
Workers Union*, the support service for independent aid professionals (
https://www.aidworkersunion.org)

Mobile: +44 7785 70 34 90
Skype: james.s-b
Twitter: @jshepherdbarron
https://www.aidworkersunion.org <https: www.aidessentials.org="">

- DREAM BIG - Demonstrate vision and insight
- BE BOLD - Have the courage to take risks and make tough decisions
- OWN IT - Take full accountability for your decisions and actions
- WORK AS A TEAM - Don't just coordinate, collaborate
- DO THE RIGHT THING - Conduct yourself with honesty and integrity at
all times
- SHOW RESPECT - Treat others as you would expect to be treated
- LOVE WHAT YOU DO - Bring passion and pride to what you do

The information contained in this e-mail message may be privileged,
confidential, and protected from disclosure. Any unauthorised use,
printing, copying, disclosure, dissemination of or reliance upon this
communication by persons other than the intended recipient may be subject
to legal restriction, sanction or redress. If you think you have received
this e-mail in error, please reply to the sender to that effect and delete
this email promptly.

Please note: This email has been checked for computer viruses, but be
aware that this service is not 100% reliable. Do not open any attachment
unless you have specifically requested it. The sender bears no
responsibility for any such transmission.
</https:>

March 15, 2022, 7:15 a.m.

James Shepherd-Barron

Dear fellow CaLPers and MiCers.

Here are recent highlights from academic and cash industry sources that you
might find relevant for your cash and markets-based programming.

With thanks to Prof. Batiz-Lazo of Northumbria University, the NEP Project (
http://nep.repec.org), Currency News International, The Payments Journal,
Cash & Payments News, ATM Marketplace and Payments Afrika.

*Abay et al: Digital tools and agricultural market transformation in
Africa: Why are they not at scale yet, and what will it take to get there?;
International Food Policy Research Institute Discussion Paper 02092,
December 2021*
Despite enthusiasm on the potential of digital innovations to transform
agricultural markets in Africa, progress made thus far has been limited to
small-scale experiments that often fail to scale. This paper reviews the
theoretical and empirical evidence on the transformative potential of
digital innovations for African agricultural markets.
For more, see:
https://ebrary.ifpri.org/utils/getfile/collection/p15738coll2/id/134957/filename/135168.pdf

*Yue et al: The rise of digital finance: Financial inclusion or debt trap?
Finance Research Letters; https://doi.org/10.1016/j.frl.2021.102604
<https: 10.1016="" doi.org="" j.frl.2021.102604="">; 30 December 2021* Digital
finance has a huge potential to serve people excluded from the traditional
financial system by reducing the information asymmetry between lenders and
borrowers, decreasing transaction costs and achieving economies of scale.
However, as digital finance evolves, populations with lower financial
literacy gain access to complex financial products and services, some of
which carry risks that may not yet be known. Recently, the substantial
increase in household debt has become a threat to the world economy and it
has been asserted that this may be caused, at least in part, by digital
finance platforms such as mobile money apps which damage financial
well-being by triggering impulsive consumer behaviour. While digital
finance has brought financial inclusion, it has also increased the risk of
households falling into a debt trap. This paper provides evidence that
supports this notion and explains the channel through which digital finance
increases the likelihood of financial distress.
For more, see: https://arxiv.org/ftp/arxiv/papers/2201/2201.09221.pdf

For a wider perspective on Cash and Crises, see:
https://cashessentials.org/cash-crises/

*James Shepherd-Barron MIH, PhD (hc)*
*Disaster Management Consultant* (*in case you're wondering, this means I
advise Governments, UN Agencies, International NGOs and the private sector
on the modelling and management of international disaster risk*)

I am also an Adjunct Professor at Fordham University and CEO of The* Aid
Workers Union*, the support service for independent aid professionals (
https://www.aidworkersunion.org)

Mobile: +44 7785 70 34 90
Skype: james.s-b
Twitter: @jshepherdbarron
https://www.aidworkersunion.org <https: www.aidessentials.org="">

- DREAM BIG - Demonstrate vision and insight
- BE BOLD - Have the courage to take risks and make tough decisions
- OWN IT - Take full accountability for your decisions and actions
- WORK AS A TEAM - Don't just coordinate, collaborate
- DO THE RIGHT THING - Conduct yourself with honesty and integrity at
all times
- SHOW RESPECT - Treat others as you would expect to be treated
- LOVE WHAT YOU DO - Bring passion and pride to what you do

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Feb. 24, 2022, 10:07 a.m.

James Shepherd-Barron

Dear fellow CaLPers and MiCers.

Here are CashEssentials’ recent highlights from academic and cash industry
sources that you might find relevant for your cash and markets-based
programming.

With thanks to Prof. Batiz-Lazo of Northumbria University, the NEP Project
(General information on the NEP project can be found at http://nep.repec.org),
Currency News International, The Payments Journal, Cash & Payments News,
ATM Marketplace and Payments Afrika.

For a wider perspective on Cash and Crises, see:
https://cashessentials.org/cash-crises/

*Grotta: BofA and Regulatory Agencies Feud over Prepaid Cards for Benefits;
Payments Journal, 23 February 2022*

During the height of the pandemic, social protection payments made via
prepaid cards in the U.S ballooned. Nearly every state reported rampant
fraud as crime rings took advantage of weak systems to create fake claims
and to steal funds from those who legitimately should have received
benefits. Bank of America, which has run the prepaid card program for the
State of California for over a decade, is being scrutinized by The Office
of the Comptroller of the Currency and the Consumer Financial Protection
Bureau for they way they handled payments for false claims and inquiries of
fraudulent transactions. They are also being criticized for not using
prepaid cards with more secure EMV chip technology.

For more, see
https://www.paymentsjournal.com/bofa-and-regulatory-agencies-feud-over-prepaid-cards-for-benefits/

*RipplesNigeria: Currency in circulation in Nigeria hits all time high; 20
February 2022*

The total currency in circulation (the total amount of physical cash
represented in paper or coins) in Nigeria closed the year 2021 at an
all-time high of N3.33 trillion. This represents a 19.06 percent rise from
2.44 trillion in 2019. In its report on currency operations, the Central
Bank of Nigeria (CBN) said, “The growth in CIC reflected the continued
dominance of cash in the economy.” This despite a stated government policy
of supporting moves towards a fully digital – and therefore cashless -
society.

For more, see
https://www.ripplesnigeria.com/currency-in-circulation-hits-all-time-high-as-cbn-pushes-n418bn-into-economy/

*Payments Afrika: Mobile Money Interoperability in Africa – White Paper;
January 2022*

Mobile money has changed the face of Africa, creating new pathways to an
improved standard of living across the continent. With so many platforms in
single markets, however, it’s the path to interoperability that creates
challenges for all participants in the mobile money ecosystem. There are
four basic options to enable mobile money interoperability; inter-company,
central bank/bank coalition, standards based, and merchant based.

For more, see:
https://paymentsafrika.com/mobile-money-interoperability-in-africa-whitepaper/

*Roessler et al: The Economic Impact of Mobile Phone Ownership in Tanzania;
Working Paper 2021-05, Centre for the Study of African Economies,
University of Oxford, 2021 *

Leveraging one of the first large-scale case-control studies on women’s
mobile phone ownership, this research finds that smartphones controlled and
used by women increased households’ annual consumption per capita by 20% in
Tanzania. However, treatment effects were attenuated by handset turnover;
by the end of the study period only 34% in the smartphone condition still
possessed their handsets. This highlights the economic benefits of closing
the mobile gender gap but also the tenuous nature of productive asset
ownership for women in low-income households.

For more, see: https://econpapers.repec.org/paper/csawpaper/2021-05.htm

*James Shepherd-Barron MIH, PhD (hc)*
*Disaster Management Consultant* (*in case you're wondering, this means I
advise Governments, UN Agencies, International NGOs and the private sector
on the modelling and management of international disaster risk*)

I am also an Adjunct Professor at Fordham University and CEO of The* Aid
Workers Union*, the support service for independent aid professionals (
https://www.aidworkersunion.org)

Mobile: +44 7785 70 34 90
Skype: james.s-b
Twitter: @jshepherdbarron
https://www.aidworkersunion.or <https: www.aidessentials.org="">g

The information contained in this e-mail message may be privileged,
confidential, and protected from disclosure. Any unauthorised use,
printing, copying, disclosure, dissemination of or reliance upon this
communication by persons other than the intended recipient may be subject
to legal restriction, sanction or redress. If you think you have received
this e-mail in error, please reply to the sender to that effect and delete
this email promptly.

Please note: This email has been checked for computer viruses, but be
aware that this service is not 100% reliable. Do not open any attachment
unless you have specifically requested it. The sender bears no
responsibility for any such transmission.</https:>