Fintech Adoption by Retail Firms in an Emerging Market: Experimental Evidence of Tech, Marketing, and Financial Interventions

Last registered on February 21, 2024

Pre-Trial

Trial Information

General Information

Title
Fintech Adoption by Retail Firms in an Emerging Market: Experimental Evidence of Tech, Marketing, and Financial Interventions
RCT ID
AEARCTR-0009984
Initial registration date
August 26, 2022

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
August 29, 2022, 2:02 PM EDT

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

Last updated
February 21, 2024, 7:38 PM EST

Last updated is the most recent time when changes to the trial's registration were published.

Locations

Region

Primary Investigator

Affiliation
Cornell University

Other Primary Investigator(s)

PI Affiliation
UT Austin
PI Affiliation
Stanford University
PI Affiliation
World Bank

Additional Trial Information

Status
Completed
Start date
2019-04-19
End date
2023-08-31
Secondary IDs
Prior work
This trial does not extend or rely on any prior RCTs.
Abstract
Across developing economies, cash is the conduit for retail transactions. Policymakers, multinational product manufacturers and marketers of electronic payment systems are interested in understanding how to stimulate the growth of electronic payments in emerging markets. In this paper, we investigate what hinders the adoption of e-payment technology by traditional retailers, in particular, whether barriers to adoption are technological, informational or financial in nature. We do this through a rigorous field experiment, where we randomize 900 small retailers in Guadalajara, Mexico into four experimental groups: i) N = 225 firms receive an e-payment technology kit; ii) N = 225 firms receive the e-payment technology kit and informational materials to market e-payments to customers; iii) N = 225 firms receive the e-payment technology kit, informational materials, and a 4-month transaction fee waiver; and iv) N = 225 firms constitute a control group who receive no intervention. By comparing the adoption rates of the different treatment groups, we are able to cleanly analyze which barriers are critical to technology adoption. We additionally aim to study the impact of these interventions on e-payment adoption by neighboring retailers, and business performance.
External Link(s)

Registration Citation

Citation
Kankanhalli, Shreya et al. 2024. "Fintech Adoption by Retail Firms in an Emerging Market: Experimental Evidence of Tech, Marketing, and Financial Interventions." AEA RCT Registry. February 21. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.9984-2.0
Sponsors & Partners

There is information in this trial unavailable to the public. Use the button below to request access.

Request Information
Experimental Details

Interventions

Intervention(s)
Intervention Start Date
2019-06-03
Intervention End Date
2022-09-16

Primary Outcomes

Primary Outcomes (end points)
Sales, profits, technology adoption, technology usage
Primary Outcomes (explanation)

Secondary Outcomes

Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)

Experimental Design

Experimental Design
900 small-scale retailers in Guadalajara, Mexico are randomized into four equal-sized groups:
• Control (N=225 firms): No intervention offered to participants.
• Technology (N=225 firms): Retailers in this treatment group are given a smartphone that is enabled with: (i) technology for electronic payments, including an attachable dongle to read credit/debit cards and the software to process payments, and (ii) a six-month data plan. In addition, retailers receive 4 hours (two visits) of IT support from a technical consultant. The hours are focused on installing
the technology, ensuring the entire system is functioning correctly and on helping the focal retailer effectively process
electronic payment transactions.
• Technology + Marketing (N=225 firms): In addition to receiving everything from the first treatment, retailers in this group also receive assistance with understanding and marketing the benefits of e-payment technology to customers. This is delivered through “E-payment Agents” (i.e. top university students majoring in business, economics or related disciplines) who visit treated retailers eight times, for two-hour long sessions. They help the business owner develop a strategy to: (i) reach out to new customer segments who would find the payment
option attractive; (ii) install the provided marketing materials such as posters, stickers, outdoor pop-up stands; and (iii) to communicate the existence and benefits of paying by card at the business.
• Technology + Marketing + Commissions (N=225 firms): In addition to receiving the intervention components from the previous two treatments, these retailers receive a four-month waiver for the commission normally paid on each e-payment transaction.
This experiment is underway, with the intervention completed for N = 805 firms.
Experimental Design Details
To measure the impact of our interventions, we plan to collect detailed information on e-payment adoption and usage in the 6-month post-intervention survey of the full study sample. By comparing the adoption and usage rates of the different treatment groups, we will be able to cleanly analyze which barriers are critical to adoption and usage. We will also collect firm performance measures (sales, costs, and profits) in this survey round to answer how e-payment adoption by small-scale retailers impacts performance. Additionally, we complement this survey data with corresponding data from the e-payment service provider, so that for every treated business we can objectively measure how much they sold through the technology. The e-payment application records each transaction made through the dongle, allowing us to calculate total monthly sales through e-payments. Using this type of data for measuring firm sales would solve the problem of accurately measuring activities of firms in developing economies, something most researchers struggle with. We have also secured funding to survey retail businesses neighboring our sample to measure the spillover effects of the intervention on e-payment adoption.
Randomization Method
Randomization done in office by a computer
Randomization Unit
Firm
Was the treatment clustered?
No

Experiment Characteristics

Sample size: planned number of clusters
N/A
Sample size: planned number of observations
900 firms
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
225 firms: Control
225 firms: Technology intervention only
225 firms: Technology and marketing intervention
225 firms: Technology, marketing, and financial waiver intervention
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
IRB

Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)

IRB Name
IRB Approval Date
IRB Approval Number
Analysis Plan

There is information in this trial unavailable to the public. Use the button below to request access.

Request Information

Post-Trial

Post Trial Information

Study Withdrawal

There is information in this trial unavailable to the public. Use the button below to request access.

Request Information

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