Introducing Mobile Money in Rural Mozambique: Evidence from a Field Experiment

NOVAFRICA Working Paper Series No. 1301

46 Pages Posted: 26 Jan 2014

See all articles by Catia Batista

Catia Batista

Universidade Nova de Lisboa; CReAM; IZA Institute of Labor Economics; NOVAFRICA

Pedro C. Vicente

New University of Lisbon - Nova School of Business and Economics

Date Written: June 24, 2013

Abstract

The limitations of access to finance in Africa, together with the recent boom in cell phone use in that continent, created high expectations regarding the introduction of mobile money in many African countries. The success story of M-PESA in Kenya raised the bar further. We designed and conducted a field experiment to assess the impact of randomized mobile money dissemination in rural Mozambique. For this purpose we benefit from the fact that mobile money was only recently launched in the country, allowing for the identification of a pure control group. This paper reports on the first results of this ongoing project after the first wave of dissemination efforts in rural locations, which included the recruitment and training of mobile money agents, community meetings and theaters, as well as individual rural campaigning. Administrative and behavioral data both show clear adherence to the services in the treatment group. Financial literacy and trust outcomes are also positively affected by the treatment. We present behavioral evidence that the marginal willingness to remit was increased by the availability of mobile money. Finally, we observe a tendency for mobile money to substitute traditional alternatives for both savings and remittances.

Keywords: Mobile money, remittances, savings, Mozambique

JEL Classification: O12, O33, G20, R23

Suggested Citation

Batista, Catia and Vicente, Pedro C., Introducing Mobile Money in Rural Mozambique: Evidence from a Field Experiment (June 24, 2013). NOVAFRICA Working Paper Series No. 1301. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2384561 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2384561

Catia Batista (Contact Author)

Universidade Nova de Lisboa ( email )

Nova School of Business and Economics
Rua da Holanda, 1
Carcavelos, 2775-405
Portugal

CReAM

Drayton House
30 Gordon Street
London, WC1H 0AX
United Kingdom

IZA Institute of Labor Economics ( email )

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

HOME PAGE: http://www.iza.org/

NOVAFRICA ( email )

Nova School of Business and Economics
Rua da Holanda, 1
Carcavelos, 2775-405
Portugal

HOME PAGE: http://www.novafrica.org

Pedro C. Vicente

New University of Lisbon - Nova School of Business and Economics ( email )

Campus de Campolide
Lisbon, 1099-032
Portugal

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