Research for Global Development

Financial Inclusion/Mobile Money

I.  Financial Inclusion / Mobile Money

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, “Financial Inclusion Insights (FII) Program”  (Nigeria, Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, Indonesia, Pakistan, India, Bangladesh)

Mobile phones and other digital technologies are potential game-changers in providing access to financial products and services to people worldwide, especially people at the bottom of the socio-economic pyramid. The Financial Inclusion Insights (FII) research program provides data, analysis and insights to guide effective deployment of essential financial tools for people in developing countries. The program covers eight countries in Africa and Asia with a combined population of more than 2 billion.

With an anticipated total of some 300,000 household interviews in 2013 and 2014, the Financial Inclusion Insights Program (FII) is one the largest research and knowledge-sharing effort of its kind focusing on the rapidly expanding Digital Financial Services sector.

In each of eight countries – Nigeria, Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, Indonesia, Pakistan, India and Bangladesh – InterMedia’s Financial Inclusion Insights teams manage nationally representative surveys once or twice annually to track opportunities and trends in digital financial services. Targeted qualitative studies drill down on key issues arising from the survey data to provide actionable intelligence to a range of stakeholders – including international development funders, telecoms, financial service providers, government regulators and NGOs. All knowledge produced by the FII Program is publicly available.  To learn more, log on to


Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, “Financial Inclusion Tracker Study (FITS)” (Pakistan, Tanzania, Uganda)

The development community increasingly sees mobile phones and other digital technologies as potentially powerful instruments to help alleviate poverty by substituting for conventional banking services to which more than two billion people now lack access. But do mobile financial services actually improve people’s lives?

Proponents of financial inclusion efforts are eager to know whether their efforts are having a positive impact on the welfare of households and individuals. To find out, the Gates Foundation commissioned InterMedia to design and launch the Financial Inclusion Tracker Surveys project (FITS) in Pakistan, Tanzania and Uganda.  These studies are tracking awareness, use, drivers and barriers to use, of mobile financial services.


The GSMA Foundation, “Mobile Money in the Democratic Republic of Congo” (DRC) 

The Democratic Republic of Congo,  nearly one-fourth the size of the United State, with a highly dispersed population  of 71.7 million wracked by insurrection and poverty, appears to hold significant promise for growth in mobile money use – given the country’s weak banking infrastructure, rudimentary transportation system but plentiful mobile phones. The GSMA Foundation, sponsored by the worldwide mobile phone industry, commissioned InterMedia to conduct a nationwide scoping study to understand potential user demand among individuals and small businesses in the DRC, as well as the formal and informal competitive landscape for remittance and financial services.


Better Than Cash Alliance (BTCA) Advancing The Alliance (India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Afghanistan, Indonesia, Brazil, Chile, Morocco, Senegal, Uganda, Ghana and Tanzania)

BTCA brings together governments, major development foundations, international development agencies from the United Nations Development Programme to USAID, and financial institutions from CitiBank to VISA and MasterCard, to advocate the adoption of electronic payment systems in the developing world.  BTCA sought InterMedia’s assistance in carrying out studies in 12 priority countries to broaden the alliance’s membership.


Grameen Foundation, “Use of Mobile Financial Services Among Poor Women in Rural India and the Philippines” (India, Philippines)

Inspired by the microfinance movement of the Grameen Bank in Bangladesh led by its founder, Muhammad Yunus, the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize laureate, the US-based Grameen foundation (whose Board includes Mr. Yunus) works with financial institutions, telecom operators and other service providers to create and scale financial products and services for the poor. The foundation commissioned InterMedia to explore the specific barriers that women encounter in using mobile money in two key countries, the Philippines and India.

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