The rate of mobile money (MM) adoption among poor people remains low. However, the mechanisms driving adoption are similar to those of other segments. By comparing data from three countries, this study identifies and explores the key drivers of MM adoption. Innovative analytics and data mining techniques were used: a data set of 7 billion transactions (phone calls, SMS, data) performed by more than 10 million mobile phone users over seven months was processed.
The analysis revealed two key variables that indicate a higher propensity to adopt MM. The first variable is the social network and social interactions of the mobile user. That is, the number of MM users an individual is connected to (people whom the user connects to via phone or SMS). Individuals with five MM connections are over 3.5 times more likely to adopt MM than individuals with only one MM connection.