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NOVAFRICA Working Paper: “Adopting Mobile Money Evidence From An Experiment in Rural Africa”

A new working paper has been added to the NOVAFRICA Working Papers Series. Written by Catia Batista and Pedro C. Vicente, this paper describes the mobile money adoption patterns following the experimental introduction of mobile money services for the first time in rural areas of Southern Mozambique.

Title: Adopting Mobile Money: Evidence From An Experiment In Rural Africa

Authors:
Catia Batista (Nova SBE, CReAM, IZA and NOVAFRICA)
Pedro C. Vicente (Nova SBE, BREAD and NOVAFRICA)

Abstract:

Who uses mobile money? And what is mobile money used for? This paper describes the mobile money adoption patterns following the experimental introduction of mobile money services for the first time in rural areas of Southern Mozambique. In particular, we examine the individual characteristics of early and late adopters, as well as their mobile money usage patterns. For this purpose, we use a combination of administrative and household survey data to characterize the adoption of mobile money services in the three years following their initial introduction. We find that a large proportion of the individuals who were offered mobile money services adopted this technology. These users of mobile money (and early adopters in particular) are more educated than non-users, and they also are more likely to already hold a bank account. Positive-self-selection into mobile money usage raises the question of whether mobile money is an effective tool for financial inclusion.

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