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Announcement for MFTransparency’s transition

Published on March 31, 2015

Announcement for MFTransparency’s transition

March 18, 2015. We much appreciate the continual support many of you have given to MicroFinance Transparency since we launched in 2008. We have been inspired by the clear industry-wide commitment to the principles of transparent pricing. Thanks to all of us working together, the industry has made impressive progress over these 7 years – transparent pricing on 1,800 loan products sold by 530 MFIs to 52 million clients. Working together, we all accomplished more than expected, and to our knowledge we did more than any other industry to voluntarily practice pricing transparency.

Yet the MFT board has asked me to communicate their decision that MFT’s role in pricing transparency will be ending in a few months. Despite the broad desire to practice transparency, the successes we had did not come easily. Among MFIs, hesitation to participate and decisions to decline participation were common. The hurdles were many. For some, there was reluctance to be in the transparent minority; for others, there was fear of public criticism, the struggle to submit yet one more report to an external agency, and the challenge of understanding the technical nature of the requested information.


In our last months, there are three final steps for MFT:


First, we are revising and documenting our pricing tools and releasing them to the industry so that others may use them. Our methodology can continue to be built into decision making and reporting procedures for funders, networks, raters, and analysts. However, new prices won’t be published on the MFTransparency website. The industry will need to determine if there is any possible new home for any new data collected, or if that data will only be managed internally by the institutions collecting it.

Second, we are finishing our work on a new “Balanced Pricing Analysis” and will also make that available for organizations to incorporate into their evaluation and decision-making processes.

Finally, we are preparing a set of articles and reports that pulls together the rich lessons we have learned from seven years of collecting and studying pricing data.

Again, we thank all of you for your support over the past years. Together we worked towards the organization’s mission to be the leader in microfinance product pricing transparency by promoting public disclosure and education. Although much work remains, we see countless examples of positive change. We see pricing a major topic of conversation in every conference, where before it was never discussed and rarely understood. We have frequent examples of MFIs changing their pricing to make it more transparent. We have felt a part of the movement to recognize those MFIs committed to the hard decisions necessary to seek a price that balances the needs of their business with the needs of their clients. We will continue to work with you, even if not through MFT.

Chuck Waterfield, CEO of Microfinance Transparency

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