The surge in access to mobile phones throughout the developing world has brought with it a wide range of benefits. One of the most noteworthy breakthroughs has been mobile money, enabling users to deposit, transfer, and withdraw funds from a digital account without owning a bank account. Mobile money provides a dramatic reduction in transaction costs, as well as improvements in convenience, security, and time taken for the transaction. There is a growing literature that documents the benefits of mobile money, including improvements in the ability to smooth consumption better in the face of health and economic shocks, improving women’s empowerment, and reducing poverty. More recently, there has been a growth in digital financial services that use mobile money as the rails to deliver other products (largely credit). However, such innovations are few and far between with more research needed on their deployment and impact.

Mobile money Financial inclusion Digital financial services