A mobile money agent shows Sonata clients how to do transactions on a phone
By Sharada Ramanathan
Imagine that your loan payment is due. You have two options: either physically carry cash to your bank or make this payment instantaneously via your mobile wallet. It is safe to say that most of us would choose the latter option, even if it costs us more. To us, the benefits of mobile money – safety, efficiency and speed – skew the decision firmly in its favor. Now imagine that it is a microfinance client in rural Uttar Pradesh, India, who needs to repay her loan. Presented with the same two options, would she make the same decision? Not necessarily, in our experience.
The mobile channel holds tremendous potential for delivering financial services economically to the poor in rural, remote areas. However, it is unlikely to be able to deliver on this promise if adoption rates remain low, as we see currently.