Promoting Migrant Remittances using Mobile Money: Evidence from a Field Experiment

Project Info

Principal Investigators

Cátia Batista (Nova SBE)
Pedro Vicente (Nova SBE)

Project Coordination

Stefanus Leeffers
Julia Seither
Ines Vilela


Growth and Labour Markets in Low Income Countries Programme


About this Project

A collaborative effort with Carteira Móvel and the Central Bank of Mozambique


The introduction of mobile money technology in Mozambique has created a sense of opportunity and interest in the Mozambican society, with the Government and the Central Bank of Mozambique paying close attention to its potential impact. While the success of mobile money experiences in other contexts generates great expectations, there is a lack of causal evidence to provide guidance on the consequences of introducing this new technology, particularly in rural areas without access to traditional banks.

This research project focus on the potential impact of mobile money on migrant remittances to rural households in the three southern provinces of Mozambique. It takes advantage of the fact that this technology was still to be introduced in rural Mozambique at the start of the project, and that our partner institution, Carteira Móvel, agreed that we randomly select the rural areas where this technology was and was not be offered for the duration of the project.

The experimental research design allows measuring the impact of introducing mobile payment technology in rural areas on the magnitude and frequency of urban-rural transfers, while also examining substitution patterns in the use of different remittance channels and the motives potentially explaining this substitution – namely reduced transaction costs and increased trust in the remittance channel.

Please find more information on the introduction of mobile money in rural Mozambique here and in this video. Initial results on the impact of mobile banking can be found in the working paper, the policy brief and the data set.

In July 2015, the Central Bank of Mozambique, the International Growth Center and NOVAFRICA jointly organized a conference on the innovations and challenges faced in promoting financial development in Mozambique. The event offered international researchers and local policy-makers the opportunity to discuss current initiatives and research projects that evaluate the impact of mobile money in rural areas and micro-enterprise development in the greater Maputo area. Please find more information on the speakers and program of the conference here.

Final experimental results of the project are available here. For a non-technical description see the VoxDev article here.


Contributing to SDGs: