Can Mobile Money Be Used to Promote Savings? Evidence from Northern Ghana
Jenny C. Aker
Tufts University - The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy; Center for Global Development
February 14, 2013
SWIFT Institute Working Paper No. 2012-003
This research seeks to understand whether and how m-money can promote financial inclusion of the world’s poor, particularly those living in rural areas. In particular, the purpose of this research is to address some of the potential barriers to m-money adoption and usage in Ghana, with a goal towards providing insights into whether m-money services could be used to: 1) provide cash transfers to extremely vulnerable populations; 2) facilitate savings within rural areas, either by allowing individual members of savings groups to save, facilitating savings among different savings or promoting savings objectives; or 3) allow households to receive remittances from migrants.
To better understand the barriers, this research followed two stages. The first stage involved a scoping visit to meet with key stakeholders (mobile phone operators, governmental officials, consumers and international organizations) to better understand the extent and type of m-money services available and the potential barriers to adoption. The second stage involved the implementation of an “action-oriented research” program, The purpose of the action-oriented research was to understand rural households’ demand for formal and informal financial services (including money transfer and savings services), their access to and usage of m-money and whether and how this technology could be used to improve households’ access to financial services.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 19
Keywords: mobile money, Northern Ghana, savings, barriers
Date posted: February 14, 2013