Research for Global Development

Tracking Mobile Money Use and Agent Performance in Tanzania


Countries: Tanzania

Challenge

Global interest in delivering financial services over mobile devices has exploded since the launch in 2007 of the pioneering M-PESA money transfer platform in Kenya.  There is still much to learn about the financial needs of the world’s poor and the best ways to meet them. Through innovative ground-level research in Africa, Asia, and Haiti, in partnership with leading players in the financial inclusion field, InterMedia is identifying barriers to financial access and the dynamics of mobile money use at the human level.

Approach

InterMedia was hired by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to track the use and awareness of mobile money, and notes the drivers and barriers to mobile money expansion.  InterMedia conducted and analyzed nationally representative surveys; focus group discussions with mobile money users and nonusers; in-depth interviews with mobile money agents; and mystery shopping exercises in agent shops.

Insight

Between September 2011 and October 2012, mobile money use nearly doubled, reaching 45 percent of the Tanzanian adult population.  Use differs by demographics, however, with poor, rural women the least likely to use mobile money services, and urban men above the poverty line the most likely to use the services.  Awareness of mobile money has reached saturation, with 99 percent of Tanzanian adults able to name or recognize at least one service provider.  Insufficient understanding of how to use mobile money and take advantage of its potential benefits remains a barrier.

The Tanzania Tracker study is part of InterMedia’s broader body of research on behalf of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation into mobile money’s potential to help more people gain access to financial services, particularly women and the poor.

InterMedia

Tracking Mobile Money Use and Agent Performance in Tanzania


Countries: Tanzania

Challenge

Global interest in delivering financial services over mobile devices has exploded since the launch in 2007 of the pioneering M-PESA money transfer platform in Kenya.  There is still much to learn about the financial needs of the world’s poor and the best ways to meet them. Through innovative ground-level research in Africa, Asia, and Haiti, in partnership with leading players in the financial inclusion field, InterMedia is identifying barriers to financial access and the dynamics of mobile money use at the human level.

Approach

InterMedia was hired by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to track the use and awareness of mobile money, and notes the drivers and barriers to mobile money expansion.  InterMedia conducted and analyzed nationally representative surveys; focus group discussions with mobile money users and nonusers; in-depth interviews with mobile money agents; and mystery shopping exercises in agent shops.

Insight

Between September 2011 and October 2012, mobile money use nearly doubled, reaching 45 percent of the Tanzanian adult population.  Use differs by demographics, however, with poor, rural women the least likely to use mobile money services, and urban men above the poverty line the most likely to use the services.  Awareness of mobile money has reached saturation, with 99 percent of Tanzanian adults able to name or recognize at least one service provider.  Insufficient understanding of how to use mobile money and take advantage of its potential benefits remains a barrier.

The Tanzania Tracker study is part of InterMedia’s broader body of research on behalf of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation into mobile money’s potential to help more people gain access to financial services, particularly women and the poor.

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