Research for Global Development

Small Island Begins to Embrace Mobile Money


No, not Haiti, but Britain. It looks like mobile money is coming to the UK.

Building on all the work we’ve been doing on mobile money usage, this is a short post on how insightful unobtrusive data collection can be. In this example the data and insights come from comments on this BBC news story.

What struck me about the comments that members of the public left on this article was just how closely the comments relate to the insights we’ve learned in our Tanzania Mobile Money study. All of the same issues and concerns are raised here, namely issues of trust in the provider, user error, system security and personal safety. There’s also a small number who seem keen to adopt it and give the new system a chance.

Using these as a form of unobtrusive qualitative research you see people’s opinions on the issue and how similar they are to our research participants in Tanzania. When triangulated with findings from other qualitative studies, such unobtrusive data can be very credible.

The second thing that struck me was from talking with Tim Cooper. He pointed me to the book Portfolios of the Poor (Collins, Morduch et al) – a systematic examination of the ways the world’s poor manage their complex everyday financial problems. Something that shouldn’t shock us – rich and poor alike have equally complex financial lives, employing a host of financial tools to manage their money-lives. The poor in Tanzania and elsewhere have been using Mobile Money services for some time.

Those in Britain are only now catching up with the Mobile Money phenomenon.

Tim and Michelle Kaffenberger may have something to add in the comments on this issue.

Joe

InterMedia

Small Island Begins to Embrace Mobile Money


No, not Haiti, but Britain. It looks like mobile money is coming to the UK.

Building on all the work we’ve been doing on mobile money usage, this is a short post on how insightful unobtrusive data collection can be. In this example the data and insights come from comments on this BBC news story.

What struck me about the comments that members of the public left on this article was just how closely the comments relate to the insights we’ve learned in our Tanzania Mobile Money study. All of the same issues and concerns are raised here, namely issues of trust in the provider, user error, system security and personal safety. There’s also a small number who seem keen to adopt it and give the new system a chance.

Using these as a form of unobtrusive qualitative research you see people’s opinions on the issue and how similar they are to our research participants in Tanzania. When triangulated with findings from other qualitative studies, such unobtrusive data can be very credible.

The second thing that struck me was from talking with Tim Cooper. He pointed me to the book Portfolios of the Poor (Collins, Morduch et al) – a systematic examination of the ways the world’s poor manage their complex everyday financial problems. Something that shouldn’t shock us – rich and poor alike have equally complex financial lives, employing a host of financial tools to manage their money-lives. The poor in Tanzania and elsewhere have been using Mobile Money services for some time.

Those in Britain are only now catching up with the Mobile Money phenomenon.

Tim and Michelle Kaffenberger may have something to add in the comments on this issue.

Joe

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