The Next Digital Finance Frontier: Filling the Accounts

FSDT Focus Note, January 2016

8 Pages Posted: 15 Jan 2012 Last revised: 18 Feb 2016

Date Written: February 15, 2016


It is commonly accepted that poor people find value in remote digital payments propositions. A large number of Tanzanians have flocked to emerging mobile payment solutions, whether it is to send money home, facilitate informal business transactions, pay for bills, or buy pre-paid electricity. This has created tantalizing prospects for such solutions to be the spearhead for financial inclusion in a massive scale. The reality, however, is that most digital accounts are empty and serve mainly, if not exclusively, as a pass through for such payments. As a result, current digital financial services (DFS) may be very useful, but have limited transformational potential. In this paper we explore why the majority of people reject digital accounts as a good store of value.

Keywords: electronic payments, mobile money, electronic money, branchless banking, access to finance, financial inclusion, microfinance

Suggested Citation

Ephraim, Innocent and Mas, Ignacio and Mhina, Daniel, The Next Digital Finance Frontier: Filling the Accounts (February 15, 2016). FSDT Focus Note, January 2016, Available at SSRN:

Ignacio Mas (Contact Author)

Tufts University ( email )

Medford, MA 02155
United States

Daniel Mhina

FSDT ( email )

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