Transparent Pricing Initiative in India: 35 Participating Institutions To Date
LANCASTER, PA, USA & NEW DELHI, INDIA, July 28, 2010 – To date, 35 microfinance institutions in India have participated in the Transparent Pricing Initiative in India by submitting complete microloan product information and pricing data. These MFIs have demonstrated their commitment to transparency and are listed on the India page of the MFTransparency website. Equitas MicroFinance India has played a leadership role in this Initiative as the first microfinance institution in India to submit data to MFTransparency. Including institutions whose data submission is in progress, nearly 70 institutions have undertaken the process of participating in the Transparent Pricing Initiative in India. Of the 35 completed data submissions, 17 institutions are members of the Microfinance Institution Network (MFIN), 10 are members of the ACCESS MicroFinance Alliance (AMFA) and 21 are members of Sa-dhan.
MFTransparency launched the Transparent Pricing Initiative in India in April 2010 with widespread support from a range of industry actors, including Citi Foundation, Michael & Susan Dell Foundation (MSDF), MFIN, and Standard Chartered Bank, sponsors of the Initiative. The Indian microfinance market as a whole has shown a strong commitment to developing an enabling environment for transparent pricing. MFTransparency began the Transparent Pricing Initiative in India with a series of training workshops in New Delhi, Hyderabad, Chennai, Bangalore and Kolkata with the support of ACCESS Development Services as its implementing partner. These workshops were attended by many industry leaders and provided participants with training on issues related to transparency and consumer protection. Facilitating dialogue among industry stakeholders and putting the Indian microfinance market in the media spotlight, this workshop series launched the Transparent Pricing Initiative in India with a momentum that has continued since with ongoing support from industry partners.
MFTransparency awards transparency certification to all MFIs who submit data and commit to educating their clients on pricing. This consists of both a certificate to be displayed in the MFI’s offices as well as a seal of transparency logo to be used on the MFI’s marketing materials and website. Institutions who submitted data by the first deadline of June 15, 2010 received special recognition, both through the MFTransparency website and direct communication of this accomplishment to their funders. In addition, the first forty institutions to submit data will be recognized at the official data launch for this demonstration of their commitment to transparency and consumer protection.
During the Transparent Pricing Initiative in India, MFTransparency will collect data on interest and fees charged on microfinance loan products in India in order to calculate their accurate, true prices (Effective Interest Rates). MFTransparency will post that data for the public to see and learn from on its website (www.mftransparency.org). As part of the Initiative in India, MFTransparency will continue to conduct training seminars for MFIs, bankers, apex bodies and government officials which will provide participants with training on the pricing curve for microfinance loans and generate discussion on the potential impact of various regulations on client protection and access to finance for the very poor. In addition, MFTransparency will develop and disseminate training materials for MFIs, donors, investors, regulators and government officials. Each set of materials will aim to address issues related to pricing transparency, tailored to the specific needs of each stakeholder group.
MicroFinance Transparency is an international non-governmental organization founded in 2008 with the purpose of facilitating transparent markets through the dissemination of true cost information to all market stakeholders. MFTransparency represents an industry movement toward fair practices and responsibility. Based in the United States, the group has organized transparent pricing efforts in Bosnia, Peru, Cambodia, Azerbaijan, Kenya, Bangladesh, Ecuador, Bolivia and India. For more information please visit www.mftransparency.org. Grameen Bank’s Dr. Mohammad Yunus and Elizabeth Littlefield, CEO of CGAP, as well as more than 400 industry professionals and organizations have committed to transparent pricing by endorsing MFTransparency and its initiative. For information on MFTransparency staff, please see Who We Are.
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