The Role of Mobile Banking for Small and Microenterprises amid the COVID-19 Crisis in Ghana

Last registered on October 04, 2021

Pre-Trial

Trial Information

General Information

Title
The Role of Mobile Banking for Small and Microenterprises amid the COVID-19 Crisis in Ghana
RCT ID
AEARCTR-0006275
Initial registration date
August 11, 2020
Last updated
October 04, 2021, 6:47 PM EDT

Locations

Region

Primary Investigator

Affiliation
University of Washington

Other Primary Investigator(s)

PI Affiliation
Florida International University

Additional Trial Information

Status
Completed
Start date
2020-08-12
End date
2021-05-03
Secondary IDs
Prior work
This trial does not extend or rely on any prior RCTs.
Abstract
We examine how mobile banking services can assist small enterprises managing their finances amidst the COVID-19 crisis. Mobile banking allows remote access to savings and other financial services during the lockdown and once withdrawn -- enabling social distancing and reducing cash handling. We use voice messages to provide information on mobile banking to clients of a large savings and loan organisation in Ghana. By randomly assigning clients to receive voice messages, we are able to causally examine the impact of this information on take-up and use of mobile banking, and how use of mobile banking affects important downstream financial outcomes such as savings and management of business cash flow.
External Link(s)

Registration Citation

Citation
Riley, Emma and Abu Shochoy. 2021. "The Role of Mobile Banking for Small and Microenterprises amid the COVID-19 Crisis in Ghana." AEA RCT Registry. October 04. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.6275-3.0
Experimental Details

Interventions

Intervention(s)
We use interactive voice response (IVR) and SMS messages to encourage microfinance clients of Opportunity International Saving and Loans (OISL)— a leading microfinance agency in Ghana– to take up mobile banking services. IVR enables short (1-3 minute) voice messages to be sent to a phone number. When the client accepts the call, they hear this pre-recorded message and can also answer simple questions using the keypad. The IVR and SMS are sent out weekly for a period of 12 weeks. Each week contains information about how mobile banking can be used, with a particular focus on how mobile banking can help clients save and help them manage their business finances.
Intervention Start Date
2020-08-12
Intervention End Date
2020-11-04

Primary Outcomes

Primary Outcomes (end points)
Adoption of mobile banking; Use of mobile banking; making a deposit using mobile banking, making a withdrawal with mobile banking, value of deposits, value of withdrawals. Saving balance with the bank.
Primary Outcomes (explanation)

Secondary Outcomes

Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Knowledge of mobile banking; total savings; business profit; amount of transactions;
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)

Experimental Design

Experimental Design
We will use a Randomised Control Trial (RCT) setting to causally examine the impact of encouraging MFS utilization during the COVID-19 crisis on household and business outcomes of female microfinance clients. We propose to randomly assign 15,000 existing OISL microfinance clients equally to either receive the IVR intervention to encourage MFS use, to a placebo group whoo will receive general information about our partner bank, or to a control group that will receive no inducement to use MFS.
Experimental Design Details
Randomization Method
Randomisation done in STATA using the randtreat command. Stratified by loan or saving only client and accra or elsewhere in Ghana.
Randomization Unit
Individual
Was the treatment clustered?
No

Experiment Characteristics

Sample size: planned number of clusters
15000 individuals
Sample size: planned number of observations
15000 individuals
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
5000 individuals per treatment arm
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
IRB

Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)

IRB Name
Oxford University Department of Economics Research Ethics Board
IRB Approval Date
2020-07-02
IRB Approval Number
ECONCIA20-21-21
Analysis Plan

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Post-Trial

Post Trial Information

Study Withdrawal

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Intervention

Is the intervention completed?
No
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