Research for Global Development

Assessing the Potential for Mobile Money in a Crisis Country: Haiti


Countries: Haiti

Challenge

In January 2010, a powerful earthquake in Haiti caused massive suffering and physical damage, including the destruction of about one-third of the country’s bank branches. Cash management became a critical issue for citizens, prompting USAID and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to stimulate the creation of mobile money services through the Haiti Mobile Money Initiative (HMMI). The HMMI incentive prizes spurred the creation of mobile money services, but the providers lacked market research to inform their product development and marketing.

Approach

A nationally representative survey, conducted in early 2011 just as mobile money services were launching, provided a valuable baseline on people’s financial needs and potential demand. Subsequently, in summer 2012, InterMedia conducted consumer focus groups with users and nonusers of mobile money to support new marketing campaigns.

Insights

The focus groups revealed many people did not realize that the services could be used for making payments (such as at a store or in a business transaction) as well as for transferring money to a friend or family member. The research pointed to the need to market the services more like a payments transaction method, particularly among business owners.

The research also highlighted the need to expand the agent network to make cashing in and cashing out from the services more convenient, particularly in rural areas. In addition, agents need to be able to have enough liquidity (e-float and cash) so that when customers come to an agent’s shop, there is no delay in conducting a transaction.

InterMedia

Assessing the Potential for Mobile Money in a Crisis Country: Haiti


Countries: Haiti

Challenge

In January 2010, a powerful earthquake in Haiti caused massive suffering and physical damage, including the destruction of about one-third of the country’s bank branches. Cash management became a critical issue for citizens, prompting USAID and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to stimulate the creation of mobile money services through the Haiti Mobile Money Initiative (HMMI). The HMMI incentive prizes spurred the creation of mobile money services, but the providers lacked market research to inform their product development and marketing.

Approach

A nationally representative survey, conducted in early 2011 just as mobile money services were launching, provided a valuable baseline on people’s financial needs and potential demand. Subsequently, in summer 2012, InterMedia conducted consumer focus groups with users and nonusers of mobile money to support new marketing campaigns.

Insights

The focus groups revealed many people did not realize that the services could be used for making payments (such as at a store or in a business transaction) as well as for transferring money to a friend or family member. The research pointed to the need to market the services more like a payments transaction method, particularly among business owners.

The research also highlighted the need to expand the agent network to make cashing in and cashing out from the services more convenient, particularly in rural areas. In addition, agents need to be able to have enough liquidity (e-float and cash) so that when customers come to an agent’s shop, there is no delay in conducting a transaction.

Marketing Materials

Contact Us:

InterMedia Headquarters

1825 K Street, NW
Suite 650
Washington, D.C. 20006
+1.202.434.9310
FAX: +1 202 434 9560
Contact | View Map

InterMedia Africa

UN Avenue, Gigiri Nairobi
Box 10224
City Square 00200
Nairobi, Kenya
+254.720.109183
Contact | View Map