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Table of Contents

Lead Story

Industry self-policing: A lofty goal?

Patti Murphy
ProScribes Inc.


Industry Update

Federal Reserve sets debit interchange at 21 cents

Visa to update forecast after Fed sets debit interchange

More regs, requirements from FFIEC, PCI council

Fraudsters nailed, proactive security initiatives needed

The 25 most dangerous software errors in 2011


Wal-Mart wants to bank the underserved

Patti Murphy
ProScribes Inc.

Microfinance and profits

Patti Murphy
ProScribes Inc.

Electronic billing for SMBs

The three R's of text message marketing

Pal Flagg
Street Savings

Breaches across America

Selling Prepaid

Prepaid in brief

Is the new AmEx prepaid card a game changer?

Case study: Prepaid electricity metering


Are you ready for the NFC paradigm shift?

Scott Henry
VeriFone Inc.


Street SmartsSM:
Networking groups and referral marketing - Part 1

Bill Pirtle
MPCT Publishing Co.

Use communication to cut merchant attrition

Jeff Fortney
Clearent LLC

Finding the right payment processor

John Barrett
First Data Corp.

Social media: Putting your company's best face forward

Peggy Bekavac Olson
Strategic Marketing

What is my portfolio worth anyway?

Adam Atlas
Attorney at Law

Company Profile

Capital Access Network Inc.

New Products

Award winning loyalty technology


Less churn, more earn in health care

Revenue Maximizer
TransEngen Inc.


Make children your business



Resource Guide


A Bigger Thing

The Green Sheet Online Edition

July 11, 2011  •  Issue 11:07:01

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Microfinance and profits

By Patti Murphy

Editor's Note: "Microfinance and profits" were published by June 15 and 20, 2011, respectively; reprinted with permission. 2011 All rights reserved.

As the business of microfinance has matured in the United States, two distinct business models have emerged. One targets the ultra-poor: inhabitants of the 9 million American households identified by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. as unbanked, and at least some of those living in 21 million other households the FDIC deems to be underbanked.

Another engages individuals - many of whom are micro-entrepreneurs who have been squeezed out of traditional borrowing markets by tightened credit standards. Some are underbanked and have thin credit files. Many are from immigrant families. Also included are increasing numbers of tradesmen and others among the recently unemployed. Serving this latter market are financial services companies that offer the accessibility of check cashing facilities combined with the savvy of 21st century banks - companies like Progreso Financiero, OUR Microlending,, and even Sam's Club, the warehouse chain owned by the mega-retailer Wal-Mart Stores Inc.

The FIELD program at the Aspen Institute studied this trend and produced A Newly Crowded Marketplace: How For-profit Lenders are Serving Microentrepreneurs, a report that examines this trend, the pros and cons of different business models employed, and broader market implications. It also provides a look inside the operations of leading for-profit micro-lenders.

A few highlights of the report follow:

Patti Murphy is Senior Editor of The Green Sheet and President of ProScribes Inc. She is also the founder of Email her at

Notice to readers: These are archived articles. Contact names or information may be out of date. We regret any inconvenience.

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