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Introducing mobile money in rural Mozambique: Evidence from a field experiment

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  • Catia Batista
  • Pedro C. Vicente

Abstract

The limitations of access to finance in Africa, together with the recent boom in cell phone use in that continent, created high expectations regarding the introduction of mobile money in many African countries. The success story of M-PESA in Kenya raised the bar further. We designed and conducted a field experiment to assess the impact of randomized mobile money dissemination in rural Mozambique. For this purpose we benefit from the fact that mobile money was only recently launched in the country, allowing for the identification of a pure control group. This paper reports on the first results of this ongoing project after the first wave of dissemination efforts in rural locations, which included the recruitment and training of mobile money agents, community meetings and theaters, as well as individual rural campaigning. Administrative and behavioral data both show clear adherence to the services in the treatment group. Financial literacy and trust outcomes are also positively affected by the treatment. We present behavioral evidence that the marginal willingness to remit was increased by the availability of mobile money. Finally, we observe a tendency for mobile money to substitute traditional alternatives for both savings and remittances.

Suggested Citation

  • Catia Batista & Pedro C. Vicente, 2013. "Introducing mobile money in rural Mozambique: Evidence from a field experiment," NOVAFRICA Working Paper Series wp1301, Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Nova School of Business and Economics, NOVAFRICA.
  • Handle: RePEc:unl:novafr:wp1301
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    6. Ignacio Mas & Olga Morawczynski, 2009. "Designing Mobile Money Services Lessons from M-PESA," Innovations: Technology, Governance, Globalization, MIT Press, vol. 4(2), pages 77-91, April.
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    Cited by:

    1. Abiona, Olukorede & Koppensteiner, Martin Foureaux, 2018. "Financial Inclusion, Shocks and Poverty: Evidence from the Expansion of Mobile Money in Tanzania," IZA Discussion Papers 11928, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    2. Lashitew, Addisu A. & van Tulder, Rob & Liasse, Yann, 2019. "Mobile phones for financial inclusion: What explains the diffusion of mobile money innovations?," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 48(5), pages 1201-1215.
    3. Serge Ky & Clovis Rugemintwari & Alain Sauviat, 2018. "Does Mobile Money Affect Saving Behaviour? Evidence from a Developing Country," Journal of African Economies, Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE), vol. 27(3), pages 285-320.
    4. Catia Batista & Gaia Narciso, 2018. "Migrant Remittances and Information Flows: Evidence from a Field Experiment," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 32(1), pages 203-219.
    5. De Mel, Suresh & Mcintosh, Craig & Sheth, Ketki & Woodruff, Christopher, 2018. "Can Mobile-Linked Bank Accounts Bolster Savings? Evidence from a Randomized Controlled Trial in Sri Lanka," CEPR Discussion Papers 13378, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    6. Asif Islam & Silvia Muzi & Jorge Luis Rodriguez Meza, 2018. "Does mobile money use increase firms’ investment? Evidence from Enterprise Surveys in Kenya, Uganda, and Tanzania," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 51(3), pages 687-708, October.
    7. World Bank Group, . "Enhancing Financial Capability and Inclusion in Azerbaijan," World Bank Other Operational Studies, The World Bank, number 24955, April.
    8. Steinert, Janina I. & Zenker, Juliane & Filipiak, Ute & Movsisyan, Ani & Cluver, Lucie D. & Shenderovich, Yulia, 2018. "Do saving promotion interventions increase household savings, consumption, and investments in Sub-Saharan Africa? A systematic review and meta-analysis," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 104(C), pages 238-256.
    9. Martina Metzger & Jennifer Pédussel Wu, 2020. "Moving Minds and Money: The Political Economy of Migrant Transfers," ICDD Working Papers 33, University of Kassel, Fachbereich Gesellschaftswissenschaften (Social Sciences), Internatioanl Center for Development and Decent Work (ICDD).
    10. Karthik Balasubramanian & David F. Drake, 2015. "Service Quality, Inventory and Competition: An Empirical Analysis of Mobile Money Agents in Africa," Harvard Business School Working Papers 15-059, Harvard Business School, revised Oct 2015.
    11. Emmanuel Kwablah Apiors & Aya Suzuki, 2018. "Mobile Money, Individuals’ Payments, Remittances, and Investments: Evidence from the Ashanti Region, Ghana," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 10(5), pages 1-26, May.
    12. Cátia Batista & Marcel Fafchamps & Pedro C. Vicente, 2018. "Keep It Simple: A Field Experiment on Information Sharing in Social Networks," NBER Working Papers 24908, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    13. Leora Klapper & Dorothe Singer, 2017. "The Opportunities and Challenges of Digitizing Government-to-Person Payments," World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, vol. 32(2), pages 211-226.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Mobile money; remittances; savings; Mozambique;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • O12 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Microeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
    • O33 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Technological Change: Choices and Consequences; Diffusion Processes
    • G20 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - General
    • R23 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Household Analysis - - - Regional Migration; Regional Labor Markets; Population

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