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Testing Behaviorally Designed Interventions to Increase Access and Use of Mobile Money Among Underserved Communities in Mozambique
Last registered on September 17, 2019

Pre-Trial

Trial Information
General Information
Title
Testing Behaviorally Designed Interventions to Increase Access and Use of Mobile Money Among Underserved Communities in Mozambique
RCT ID
AEARCTR-0003987
Initial registration date
March 18, 2019
Last updated
September 17, 2019 9:52 AM EDT
Location(s)

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Primary Investigator
Affiliation
Harvard School of Public Health
Other Primary Investigator(s)
PI Affiliation
Mobiles4All
Additional Trial Information
Status
On going
Start date
2018-12-15
End date
2019-11-30
Secondary IDs
Abstract
Access to financial services is a problem for millions across Africa. The challenge is especially acute for women in rural and peri-urban areas. Digital financial services (DFS) are growing fast — over 10 million transactions take place each day and allows millions of people to take advantage of all that financial access has to offer: savings, loans, payment transfers, access to credit, and most importantly, the opportunity for economic development for families. However, while DFS is gaining traction in urban centers like Maputo, Mozambique, use of DFS has been slower to expand in sparsely populated markets like rural Nampula Province, where this study is focused. Families in rural Nampula without access to financial services are vulnerable to income shocks that affect most local households like illness, job loss, and agricultural variations that effect crop quality.

In this context, we conduct an impact evaluation of a novel mobile money (MM) registration and education process with M-Pesa in Mozambique. This process: 1) randomizes the neighborhoods where female and male promoters work to register new clients; 2) randomizes the content of the SMS messages customers receive (⅓ of the sample will get no messages; ⅓ will get “nudge” messages with information on where/when to use MPesa and remind people that it is Malaria season and they can use MPesa to buy health commodities, ⅓ will receive those same nudge messages but personalized); 3) offer incentives for promoters registering women on MPesa and registering women in hard-to-reach markets on MPesa.
External Link(s)
Registration Citation
Citation
Hernandez, Mindy and Margaret McConnell. 2019. "Testing Behaviorally Designed Interventions to Increase Access and Use of Mobile Money Among Underserved Communities in Mozambique." AEA RCT Registry. September 17. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.3987-2.0.
Former Citation
Hernandez, Mindy and Margaret McConnell. 2019. "Testing Behaviorally Designed Interventions to Increase Access and Use of Mobile Money Among Underserved Communities in Mozambique." AEA RCT Registry. September 17. https://www.socialscienceregistry.org/trials/3987/history/53539.
Experimental Details
Interventions
Intervention(s)
The intervention consists of: 1) randomizing the neighborhoods where groups of either all female or all male promoters work to register new clients; 2) randomizing the content of the SMS messages customers receive (⅓ of the sample will get no messages; ⅓ will get “nudge” messages with information on where/when to use MPesa and remind people that it is Malaria season and they can use MPesa to buy health commodities, ⅓ will receive those same nudge messages but personalized); 3) offering phased-in incentives for promoters registering women on MPesa and registering women in hard-to-reach markets on MPesa.
Intervention Start Date
2019-01-15
Intervention End Date
2019-07-30
Primary Outcomes
Primary Outcomes (end points)
1. Number of people total registering for MPesa within a week of registering for a SIM
3. Number of women registering for MPesa within a week of registering for a SIM
4. Average weekly MPesa transaction amounts (in Metatacais) after MPesa registration
5. Absolute number of MPesa transactions
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
Secondary Outcomes
Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)
Experimental Design
Experimental Design
Each week, we randomly assign the promoters to one of the 8 geographic regions.

Once enrolled, individuals are randomly assigned into one of three SMS treatments that they remain in throughout the trial: 1) Control is no SMS messages, T1 is SMS messages making MPesa relevant ("use Mpesa to save for school fees.") and easy ("see the MPesa agent on X street at x time."), T2 is the same as T1 but with personalization ("This is your local MPesa agent at X location. Use MPesa to save for school fees.")
Experimental Design Details
Not available
Randomization Method
Randomization done by computer
Randomization Unit
1. Geographic neighborhoods are randomly assigned a promotor group each week.
2. Individuals are randomly assigned into one SMS arm for the duration of the study.
Was the treatment clustered?
Yes
Experiment Characteristics
Sample size: planned number of clusters
160 combinations of 8 discrete geographic neighborhoods and 20 weeks
Sample size: planned number of observations
Approx 5,000 new Vodacom clients.
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
We anticipate that 4 geographic areas per week for 20 weeks (corresponding to 2,500 potential clients) will be assigned to a group of female promotors and 4 geographic areas per week will be assigned to a group of male promoters (corresponding to 2,500 potential clients).
We anticipate that 1,000 individuals will be randomly assigned to an SMS treatment, 350 in each arm.
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
IRB
INSTITUTIONAL REVIEW BOARDS (IRBs)
IRB Name
Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health Institutional Review Board
IRB Approval Date
2018-12-05
IRB Approval Number
IRB18-1926