Can Mobile Money Be Used to Promote Savings? Evidence from Northern Ghana

19 Pages Posted: 14 Feb 2013

See all articles by Jenny C. Aker

Jenny C. Aker

Tufts University - The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy; Center for Global Development

Kimberley Wilson

Tufts University

Date Written: February 14, 2013


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.

Keywords: mobile money, Northern Ghana, savings, barriers

Suggested Citation

Aker, Jenny C. and Wilson, Kimberley, Can Mobile Money Be Used to Promote Savings? Evidence from Northern Ghana (February 14, 2013). SWIFT Institute Working Paper No. 2012-003, Available at SSRN: or

Jenny C. Aker (Contact Author)

Tufts University - The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy ( email )

Medford, MA 02155
United States

Center for Global Development ( email )

2055 L St. NW
5th floor
Washington, DC 20036
United States

Kimberley Wilson

Tufts University ( email )

Medford, MA 02155
United States

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