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Mobile Money: The Economics of M-PESA

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  • William Jack
  • Tavneet Suri

Abstract

Mobile money is a tool that allows individuals to make financial transactions using cell phone technology. In this paper, we report initial results of two rounds of a large survey of households in Kenya, the country that has seen perhaps the most rapid and widespread growth of a mobile money product – known locally as M‐PESA – in the developing world. We first summarize the mechanics of M-PESA, and review its potential economic impacts. We then document the sequencing of adoption across households according to income and wealth, location, gender, and other socio‐economic characteristics, as well as the purposes for which the technology is used, including saving, sending and receiving remittances, and direct purchases of goods and services. In addition, we report findings from a survey of M‐PESA agents, who provide cash‐in and cash‐out services, and highlight the inventory management problems they face.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 16721.

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Date of creation: Jan 2011
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Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:16721

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Cited by:
  1. Melanie Morten & Dean Karlan & Jonathan Zinman, 2012. "A Personal Touch: Text Messaging for Loan Repayment," Working Papers 1011, Economic Growth Center, Yale University.
  2. Kikulwe, Enoch M. & Fischer, Elisabeth & Qaim, Matin, 2013. "Mobile money, market transactions, and household income in rural Kenya," Discussion Papers 155847, Georg-August-Universitaet Goettingen, GlobalFood, Department of Agricultural Economics and Rural Development.
  3. Florence Arestoff & Baptiste Venet, 2013. "Learning to walk before you run: Financial Behavior and mobile banking in Madagascar," Working Papers DT/2013/09, DIAL (Développement, Institutions et Mondialisation).
  4. Pascaline Dupas & Sarah Green & Anthony Keats & Jonathan Robinson, 2014. "Challenges in Banking the Rural Poor: Evidence from Kenya's Western Province," NBER Chapters, in: African Successes: Modernization and Development National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Demombynes, Gabriel & Thegeya, Aaron, 2012. "Kenya's mobile revolution and the promise of mobile savings," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5988, The World Bank.
  6. Buehren, Niklas, 2011. "Allocating Cash Savings and the Role of Information: Evidence from a Field Experiment in Uganda," Proceedings of the German Development Economics Conference, Berlin 2011 16, Verein für Socialpolitik, Research Committee Development Economics.
  7. Assunção, Juliano, 2013. "Eliminating entry barriers for the provision of banking services: Evidence from ‘banking correspondents’ in Brazil," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 37(8), pages 2806-2811.
  8. Willam Jack & Tavneet Suri & Robert Townsend, 2010. "Monetary theory and electronic money : reflections on the Kenyan experience," Economic Quarterly, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, issue 1Q, pages 83-122.
  9. Demirguc-Kunt, Asli & Klapper, Leora, 2012. "Measuring financial inclusion : the Global Findex Database," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6025, The World Bank.
  10. Asongu Simplice, 2012. "How has Mobile Banking Stimulated Financial Development in Africa?," Working Papers 12/027, African Governance and Development Institute..
  11. Dimitrios Batzilis & Taryn Dinkelman & Emily Oster & Rebecca Thornton & Deric Zanera, 2010. "New cellular networks in Malawi: Correlates of service rollout and network performance," NBER Working Papers 16616, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Jennifer Helgeson & Simon Dietz & Stefan Hochrainer-Stigler, 2012. "Vulnerability to weather disasters: the choice of coping strategies in rural Uganda," Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment Working Papers 91, Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment.

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