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MFTransparency on Oikocredit, CGAP and Opportunity International

Published on August 19, 2011

by Jordan Filko

MFTransparency authors have had great opportunities lately to guest blog for some leading industry organizations, including Oikocredit USA and CGAP. We are excited to share the concepts that we train industry leaders around the world in through these new channels. The following  is an overview of two guest posts we’ve recently published.

Oikocredit USA Blog

Pricing Transparency in Microfinance: The Path to Pricing Clarity in a Market for Low-Income Borrowers

This post is a continuation of Oikocredit USA’s Microfinance Investor Education Series, or MIE Series, designed to educate investors, advisors and fiduciaries about social impact issues in microfinance investing. It is the first of a series of guest blogs by Alexandra Fiorillo, COO of MFTransparency.

Excerpt:

Perhaps one of the most difficult – yet necessary – advancements in microfinance has been transparent pricing. The true price of microfinance loan products has rarely been accurately measured. What does true price or transparent pricing mean in microfinance? The global, working definition of transparent pricing means the pricing, terms, and conditions of loans will be adequately disclosed to the clients in a clear manner that allows both accurate understanding of prices and comparison of different products. The terminology itself is important. The interest rate is one of several charges and terms that affect the overall cost of borrowing. Using the word “pricing” rather than “interest rates” is more comprehensive.

Read the full post here

CGAP Microfinance Blog

Making Microfinance Prices More Transparent: Ideas for improving regulation

This post is written by MFTransparency CEO Chuck Waterfield, and uses a combination of text and visuals to explain the role of regulation in pricing disclosure. It was also featured in a MicroCapital brief and recommended by Kiva as one of their most-read posts.

Excerpt:

The prices we charge the poor are far from transparent.  How did we get here? In most countries, pricing in microfinance has been extremely opaque for many years.  MFIs are generally selling products in markets lacking Truth-in-Lending legislation.  In the absence of that regulation, a small number of MFIs are motivated to mask their price, a few more follow suit, and then the resulting “downward spiral” traps nearly all MFIs into complicated pricing schemes.  The problem of keeping your price transparent is obvious — it’s difficult to show a true price that looks higher than the competition when, in fact, it is lower than that charged by others.

Read the full post here

Top 10 Blog

In addition to these two guest posts, Opportunity International recently named MFTransparency’s blog one of the top blogs about microfinance and poverty eradication. Click here to read the full list. We are thrilled to be included on this list of influential blogs.

MFTransparency is working on several additional guest blogs, including one for the Smart Campaign and the next posts in the Oikocredit series. We will post those here as well once they’re published. In addition, we are accepting proposals for guest posts. If you are interested in writing for the MFTransparency blog on work that your organization is doing that relates to pricing transparency, please write to [email protected] to propose a post topic.

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