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MFTransparency Newsletter: Anniversary Special Edition

Published on July 22, 2013
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 MFTransparency Newsletter
July  2013
Special Edition: Celebrating Our Fifth Anniversary! 
MicroFinance Transparency 

Promoting Transparent Pricing in the Microfinance  Industry

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Dear friends,Chuck Waterfield

To mark MFTransparency’s fifth anniversary this month, I would like to share with you some of our achievements over the past five years. Since commencing operations we have worked in 29 countries with over 500 institutions, representing more than 1,700 loan products sold to over 48 million microfinance clients. We have organized a number of successful industry events on pricing transparency – including  our popular educational workshops, widely attended regulator forums, and ground-breaking data launch-events. We celebrate our five years of service to the industry with the launch of our new Transparent Pricing Platform, including the innovative multi-dimensional Truth in Lending Tables (TILT) and website pages.
We look forward to providing you over the coming period with more research and analysis as part of our ongoing efforts to enhance the quality and availability of pricing information and educational materials to the microfinance industry.  We also plan to continue to work with regulators, and other stakeholders, more closely over the coming years to streamline and institutionalize some of the good practices for pricing disclosure and client protection within microfinance regulation.
I am certainly excited about the future direction of MFTransparency, and hope that the next five years bring us closer to our vision of a microfinance industry operating with healthy free market conditions where consumers and other stakeholders can make informed decisions.
Finally, I would like to extend our thanks to our partners, donors, and especially to all of the MFIs who have supported us over the years and helped make microfinance the first industry to practice global voluntary pricing disclosure.
I hope you enjoy reading on MFTransparency’s updates and please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions or feedback regarding our work.

Chuck Waterfield
CEO, MicroFinance Transparency

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Latest News                                             

Pages on the Website

MFTransparency’s new Pricing Page – MFTransparency has re-designed the pricing data pages of  the website to display this important data in a more functional and user-friendly way. We have included new details about each country and institution as well as interactive pricing graphs that can be custom filtered. These pages were launched on MFTransparency’s website in June.

We would like to thank the Netherlands Platform for Microfinance (NPM) for making this website upgrade possible.

TILT Page on Website 2

MFTransparency’s new Resources – In addition to the 65 tools and materials already available in MFTransparency’s Resource Center (including the most recent Overview of the Pricing Transparency Index), we will soon be uploading an updated version of the Calculating Transparent Pricing Tool which will provide a range of new features. The tool is currently available in English, French, Spanish, and Portuguese.


Pricing Data

This year MFTransparency has refreshed pricing data via Transparent Pricing Initiatives in Uganda, Malawi, Ghana and Tanzania. The new data-sets for these countries are now available on the MFTransparency website. Moreover, MFTransparency is currently in the process of refreshing pricing data for Cambodia, Mozambique, Kenya, and India, which will be published within the coming months.
This year also saw the launch of two new Transparent Pricing Initiatives – in Morocco and Pakistan. Educational workshops were held to introduce pricing concepts, and all microfinance institutions were invited to become pricing transparent.  We look forward to revealing this new data later in the year.
We would like to acknowledge the work of our operational partners Planet Rating, MFIN India, and the Pakistan Microfinance Network for their efforts in strengthening transparency within the microfinance industry.

New Partnerships

PMN Partnership 2

MFTransparency has engaged in a new operational partnership with Pakistan Microfinance Network (PMN).

As with our other operational partners (Planet Rating and MFIN India), PMN is involved in the collection, refreshing and disclosure of pricing data.  For more information on the partnership with PMN and MFTransparency’s other partners, please visitOur Partners page on the website.


Publications

MFTransparency is currently working on a number of important new industry resources  including:
  • The Microfinance Transparent Pricing Supervision Handbook (Microfinance TraPS)
  • The Pricing Policy Matrix (comparing pricing regulation across different geographical jurisdictions)
  • Country Pricing Reports (presenting new in-depth analysis on pricing data in different countries)
These publications are being funded by the Master Card Foundation (MCF) and the Agence Française de Développement (AFD).

Regulators Events

MFTransparency, in partnership with Planet Rating and under the sponsorship of the Agence Française de Développement (AFD), planned two follow-up sub-regional events to the first African Microfinance Pricing Transparency Leadership Forum which took place in in Nairobi, Kenya in October 2011.

2013 Forum Participants 7

The first sub-regional event was also held in Nairobi, Kenya from June 18th – 19th 2013. The forum was attended by more than 30 participants, including regulators from 5 African countries as well as industry experts and technical assistance providers from around the world. The presentations from the event have been made available here on the website.

The second sub-regional event is planned to take place before the end of the year in Dakar, Senegal to gather Francophone African countries for follow-up on developments and discussions regarding the extent to which standards for pricing disclosure and client protection are being addressed and adopted in the respective markets.


Activities of Our Anniversary Month 

Week 1: July 29th – August 2nd 2013

Overview of the Pricing Data The theme of the week will be the new pricing data pages on the website.

During this week, an educational video will showcase the new pricing data section of the website, highlighting the new functionalities and data points available for comparative and analytical purposes.


Week 2: Aug. 5th – 9th 2013

Unveiling the TILT

The theme of the week will be the Truth in Lending Tables (TILT).  MFTransparency will reveal the secrets of the new data base and analytical tool (due for full launch later this year) and release a basic version of the MFTransparency dataset – which will be available for public download from the website for the first time.

TILT

The TILT contains multi-year pricing data for hundreds of institutions and will enable multi-dimensional analysis to better understand correlations between pricing and other loan term factors such as loan term, loan use, etc. as well as track changes in pricing over time through trend data available for a range of countries. This never-seen-before and groundbreaking database will be launched later in the year.

Week 3: Aug, 12th – 16th

Publication of Country Reports

The theme of the week will be the newly published Country Pricing Reports.

Country ReportThe reports will present microfinance pricing analysis using data collected by theTransparent Pricing Initiative. These reports will provide in-depth analysis of new pricing data, drawing out key themes, features and trends in each country’s microfinance pricing.

The reports will be available for download on the MFTransparency website for the first time during this week.


Week 4: Aug. 19th – 24th

Accomplishments and New Directions 

The theme of the last week will be looking in retrospect on MFTransparency’s accomplishments over the past five years and fast forwarding some of the expected new directions for the coming period.

We invite all industry stakeholders to join us for our 5th Anniversary Webinar, which will gather key industry experts to discuss how the pricing transparency movement has evolved over time, and to present views on some of the most challenging issues around the pricing disclosure agenda.


Upcoming Events  

  • The transparent pricing data for Pakisan will be showcased through an event that will take place in Islamabad, Pakistan in August 2013.
  • The launch of the Transparent Pricing Initiative in Peru  will take place in Lima, Peru in September 2013. 

Connect with MFTransparency 

MFTransparency represents an industry movement towards responsible pricing in microfinance. Help promote pricing transparency by connecting with us on social media.

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MicroFinance Transparency

Email: [email protected]

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