A growing body of evidence suggests that connecting poor people to a digital financial system will generate sizable welfare benefits. But countries cannot bridge the cash-digital divide in one leap. Instead, they pass through several stages of market development.
The second post in a series on the emerging branchless banking data architecture focuses on the demand side of the data equation and attempts to answer questions such as: which clients are using which products for which purpose? What aspects of a service are they satisfied or dissatisfied with? And, perhaps most importantly, is the service having a positive impact on their general well-being?
Consumer education adds value not only for clients, but also for mobile money providers and for their financial institution partners. This post from Microfinance Opportunities shines a light on client behaviors and challenges, and identifies ways to address them: either through information to the consumer, or by helping providers to look inwardly for solutions which result in an improved consumer experience that can lead to greater uptake and use of mobile money products.
Places where one can exchange cash for transferable or storable electronic value is an essential component of financial access. Given the paucity of financial infrastructure in Tanzania, we wanted to know how deeply mobile money agents have penetrated rural areas.
The Financial Sector Deepening Trust of Tanzania (FSDT) undertook a census of cash outlets in the country, and discovered that half of all agents do more than 30 transactions per month and nearly two-thirds of agents are exclusive to M-PESA.
I am one of the founders of Coda Payments, a company that makes it possible for customers in emerging markets to make small-value purchases using their mobile accounts. There are three essential lessons for aspiring entrepreneurs in this space.