Impact of disbursing microfinance loans on mobile money accounts
Last registered on July 31, 2018

Pre-Trial

Trial Information
General Information
Title
Impact of disbursing microfinance loans on mobile money accounts
RCT ID
AEARCTR-0001836
Initial registration date
December 07, 2016
Last updated
July 31, 2018 7:02 AM EDT
Location(s)
Region
Primary Investigator
Affiliation
University of Oxford
Other Primary Investigator(s)
Additional Trial Information
Status
Completed
Start date
2017-01-03
End date
2018-05-01
Secondary IDs
Abstract
Microcredit recipients, and the poor more generally, often report that barriers to productive investment include temptation spending and the pressure to share money with family, with the latter being particularly problematic for women. This study will use a randomized experiment in partnership with the Ugandan branch of the microcredit organization BRAC to evaluate the economic effects of expanding the financial access of female microcredit borrowers through the provision of mobile money accounts. It will test the behavioural hypothesis that the integration of mobile money accounts and microfinance loans increases the economic benefits of the loans by facilitating business investment and saving. By keeping business funds separate from household funds both mentally and physically, mobile money may create behavioural impediments to acting in impulse and thereby facilitate saving, while also serving to hide money from others.

If treatment through mobile money accounts were shown to cause increased business activity and profits among microcredit recipients, it would underline the importance of taking into account behavioural and social constraints in the design of financial services. The study would provide evidence of how tailoring financial services to the needs to women in developing countries can increase the benefits women get from the service.
External Link(s)
Registration Citation
Citation
Riley, Emma. 2018. "Impact of disbursing microfinance loans on mobile money accounts." AEA RCT Registry. July 31. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.1836-4.0.
Former Citation
Riley, Emma. 2018. "Impact of disbursing microfinance loans on mobile money accounts." AEA RCT Registry. July 31. http://www.socialscienceregistry.org/trials/1836/history/32365.
Experimental Details
Interventions
Intervention(s)
There are three treatment arms:
1) control - all features of BRAC's existing microfinance process remain the same; borrowers receive their microfinance loan as usual as cash
2) treatment group one - Borrowers receive a free sim card, are registered for a mobile money account designated for their business use and receive training on how to use the account; receive the loan as cash
3) treatment group two - Borrowers receive a free sim card, are registered for a mobile money account designated for their business use and receive training on how to use the account; receive the loan on the mobile money account

All other aspects of the BRAC microfinance loan product will remain the same, including the requirement to be physically present at the branch for the disbursement of the loan and signing of final agreements, and the repayment of the loans as cash via weekly group collection meetings within the borrower’s community.
Intervention Start Date
2017-01-16
Intervention End Date
2017-03-13
Primary Outcomes
Primary Outcomes (end points)
Outcomes will focus on the microfinance business performance, household expenditure, assets and savings and measures of female empowerment. These will be constructed and analysed as detailed in a pre-analysis plan.
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
See pre-analysis plan.
Secondary Outcomes
Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)
Experimental Design
Experimental Design
During the intervention period, any woman taking out a new loan and owning a mobile phone (since a phone is required to use mobile money) will be baselined and individually randomised into one of the three treatment groups. These treatments are:
Control - loan is given as cash
Treatment one- receives a free sim card for their business, a mobile money account and training in how to use the mobile money account; the loan is still given as cash
Treatment two - receives a free sim card for their business, a mobile money account and training in how to use the mobile money account; the loan is given on the mobile money account

Randomisation will take place weekly in blocks of approximately 400 women determined by the timing of requesting a new loan. Loans will be disbursed weekly according to the method determined in the randomisation. An endline survey will be conducted upon the loans completion 40 weeks after disbursement.
Experimental Design Details
Randomization Method
Stratified randomization by computer in Stata.
Randomization Unit
Individual borrower
Was the treatment clustered?
No
Experiment Characteristics
Sample size: planned number of clusters
3,600 borrowers
Sample size: planned number of observations
3,600 borrowers
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
control - 1,200 borrowers
treatment one - 1,200 borrowers
treatment two - 1,200 borrowers
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
IRB
INSTITUTIONAL REVIEW BOARDS (IRBs)
IRB Name
Social Science & Humanities Inter-Divisional Research Ethics Committee
IRB Approval Date
2016-11-23
IRB Approval Number
ECONCIA16-17-006
Analysis Plan
Analysis Plan Documents
PAP mobile money BRAC

MD5: 13b5a1a3c04c3d2af9618756b4b24678

SHA1: a15c6f1c6d119a0af49075040f5c5b21f24893c4

Uploaded At: December 11, 2017

mobile-money-pap-amendment-riley.pdf

MD5: 523e1228489ce5b3274d6930f9a4f979

SHA1: a061014ea2f4baa37cd6875ccafe586b6239fddf

Uploaded At: July 31, 2018

Post-Trial
Post Trial Information
Study Withdrawal
Intervention
Is the intervention completed?
No
Is data collection complete?
Data Publication
Data Publication
Is public data available?
No
Program Files
Program Files
Reports, Papers & Other Materials
Relevant Paper(s)
REPORTS & OTHER MATERIALS