Articles by Michelle Kaffenberger
Mobile Money in the Democratic Republic of Congo: The indirect path may be most effective for small business payments
Much of the Democratic Republic of Congo’s (DRC) economy consists of small businesses, and most of them operate exclusively in cash. With only 4 percent of adults in DRC having a formal bank account, mobile money is key to improving the efficiency and security of small business payments. A recent report by InterMedia and GSMA highlighted opportunities for expanding mobile money use among small business owners.
Contextual, demand-side research can make all the difference when mobile money providers make decisions about what products and services to offer and how to attract and keep customers. In many developing countries, however, such research is often in short supply. Recent studies conducted by InterMedia shed light on the mobile money markets in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Tanzania, providing insight that is not always intuitive.
After stagnating during the first two waves of our research, mobile money use among Tanzanian adults nearly doubled over the course of the study. Poor, rural women were consistently the least likely to use mobile money, while urban men above the poverty line were the most likely. However, we found that gender does not play as large a role in mobile money use as might be expected.