Unlocking Access to Credit through Technological Innovation

Last registered on May 13, 2019


Trial Information

General Information

Unlocking Access to Credit through Technological Innovation
Initial registration date
May 08, 2019

Initial registration date is when the trial was registered.

It corresponds to when the registration was submitted to the Registry to be reviewed for publication.

First published
May 13, 2019, 11:50 PM EDT

First published corresponds to when the trial was first made public on the Registry after being reviewed.



Primary Investigator

UC Berkeley

Other Primary Investigator(s)

PI Affiliation
University of California, Berkeley
PI Affiliation
University of California, Berkeley
PI Affiliation
University of California, Berkeley

Additional Trial Information

In development
Start date
End date
Secondary IDs
The proliferation of mobile technologies and digital payments systems have the potential to radically change the credit market landscape in developing economies. In this project we will explore how a combination of these recent advances have facilitated an innovative financial contract that utilizes a new form of collateral, which is designed to enhance technology adoption and access to collateralized borrowing in the developing world. We will then explore the extent to which this collateral can be "re-used" to provide poor households with affordable and recurrent access to credit markets.
External Link(s)

Registration Citation

Gertler, Paul et al. 2019. "Unlocking Access to Credit through Technological Innovation." AEA RCT Registry. May 13. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.4191-1.0
Former Citation
Gertler, Paul et al. 2019. "Unlocking Access to Credit through Technological Innovation." AEA RCT Registry. May 13. https://www.socialscienceregistry.org/trials/4191/history/46479
Experimental Details


Intervention Start Date
Intervention End Date

Primary Outcomes

Primary Outcomes (end points)
Take-up of loans, loan repayment, adverse selection, moral hazard, menu of contracts
Primary Outcomes (explanation)

Secondary Outcomes

Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)

Experimental Design

Experimental Design
A randomized control trial will be utilized to answer our research questions surrounding the use of technology. Both a baseline and endline survey will be conducted to understand the e ffect of credit on economic and educational outcomes. Figure 2 (in the Appendix) illustrates the experimental design. The sample consists of individuals who are eligible for school fee loans (based on their repayment history and credit score). We randomize the sample into 3 treatment groups and 1 control group. In the rst treatment (T1), the customer is o ered a loan that utilizes the lockout facility. Among customers who have fully repaid their ReadyPay loan (R) and accept the loan off er in T1, a randomly selected fraction will actually recieve a loan that does not utilize lockout. The element of "surprise" is meant to isolate the e ffect of selection from other considerations and has been used in prior work (Karlan and Zinman, 2009; Finan et al., 2018). The second treatment is a loan without a lockout facility and the third treatment is a menu which allows the customer to choose between a loan with or without a lockout system, which allows customers to self-select into the loan type that better fi ts their preferences.
Experimental Design Details
Randomization Method
Randomization done in office by a computer
Randomization Unit
Was the treatment clustered?

Experiment Characteristics

Sample size: planned number of clusters
The population of individuals of interest live within 14000 villages, but treatment will be clustered at the individual level. 1400 villages likely reached.
Sample size: planned number of observations
With regards to number of surveys: 2633 in fully-repaid, and 3494 in in-repayment
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
With regards to number of surveys: 529 individuals in fully repaid control, 1270 individuals in fully repaid lockout (784 individuals in surprise, no lockout, and 486 individuals in lockout), 784 individuals fully repaid no lockout, and 50 individuals in the menu group. Of less priority, and not being surveyed but expecting to respond to initial message: 1808 customers individuals in in-repayment lockout, 1486 in in-repayment control, and 200 lock out without deposit
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)

Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)

IRB Name
UC Berkeley Committee for Protection of Human Subjects
IRB Approval Date
IRB Approval Number


Post Trial Information

Study Withdrawal

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Is the intervention completed?
Data Collection Complete
Data Publication

Data Publication

Is public data available?

Program Files

Program Files
Reports, Papers & Other Materials

Relevant Paper(s)

Reports & Other Materials