The Next Digital Finance Frontier: Filling the Accounts

Innocent Ephraim


Ignacio Mas

Tufts University

Daniel Mhina


February 15, 2016

FSDT Focus Note, January 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.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 8

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

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Date posted: January 15, 2012 ; Last revised: February 18, 2016

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: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1985587

Contact Information

Innocent Ephraim
FSDT ( email )
Ignacio Mas (Contact Author)
Tufts University ( email )
Medford, MA 02155
United States
Daniel Mhina
FSDT ( email )
Feedback to SSRN

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