BRAC’s Innovation Fund for Mobile Money

Do you have a great idea on how BRAC can use mobile money? The 2nd challenge is happening now – share your idea today!

Read this blog in Forbes about the Innovation Fund!

THE INNOVATION FUND FOR MOBILE MONEY

The BRAC Innovation Fund for Mobile Money aims to increase innovation in mobile money through seeding a diverse set of projects and preparing the organisation to adopt mobile money at scale. This project is a unique three-year partnership between the BRAC Social Innovation Lab and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

We hope to enable the poor to better understand and access mobile money. We plan to develop new services and products that mobile money makes possible. Finally, we hope to find opportunities to improve organisational efficiency.

Many organisations around the world are also working are these issues. While the potential for financial inclusion is promising, the pathway remains unclear, especially when thinking about how to empower millions. We want to learn as much as possible about mobile money use. Last year we invited leading mobile money experts to participate in our Frugal Innovation Forum: Scaling Digitally. We are capturing the lessons of our innovation fund projects and we plan to share what we have learned and assist others.

What we are doing

After winning our innovation challenge, the following seven ideas were selected and are being piloted.

Title Programmes Description
(nearly) Cashless branch Integrated Development Programme In a remote area, digitailising the majority of client and staff services, such as loan repayment and staff allowances
Micro-insurance for borrowers and their families Microfinance Programme When clients take out a new loan, they have the option to purchase insurance, such as credit shielding, through mobile money.
Flexible school fee payments Institute of Educational Development, BRAC University Enabling low-income parents to pay school fees via mobile money on a flexible schedule.
mSavings for adolescents Education Programme Increasing financial awareness and encouraging mobile-based savings habits among adolescents
Mobile payments for community health workers Health, Nutrition and Population Programme Digitalising payments to grassroots workers who provide basic health services to their communities
Post-disaster digital relief Disaster, Environment and Climate Change Programme Using SMS-based vouchers to enable affected households to quickly access relief goods from local businesses, who BRAC reimburses via mobile money
mRelief funds Disaster, Environment and Climate Change Programme Establishing a mobile-money-based mechanism for local fundraising to quickly mobilise resources for disasters and other crises.

The Innovation Fund for Mobile Money is supported from September 2013 to September 2016 by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.