2016 Volume 37 Pages 95-100
It is commonly believed that financial inclusion can help improve lives of people suffering from pov- erty. Since the emergence of M-PESA in Kenya, mobile financial services (MFS) have been attracted attention as a new pathway towards financial inclusion. However, due to lack of available data on new services, the factors affecting the use of mobile financial services are remained to be elucidated. This paper aims to explore these factors by multiple regression analysis using the national-level data.
In order to make a model, “Used an account to make a transaction through a mobile phone” is set as the dependent variable. The independent variables prepared are as follows: land area, total population (logarithmically converted), population density (logarithmically converted), literacy rate, GDP per capita, poverty headcount ratio ($1.90 line), poverty headcount ratio (national line), GINI coefficient, self-employ- ment rate, mobile phone subscription rate, Internet users rate, Cybersecurity index, electrification rate, rate of having account at financial institution, ATMs per capita, commercial bank branches per capita, lending interest rate, competitive condition of telecommunication market, regulatory quality, ease of doing business, commitment to Maya declaration, sub-Sahara Africa dummy.
The model has shown that the level of non-MFS financial inclusion, population, pro-MFS govern- ment policy, GINI coefficient and membership of sub-Sahara country have statistically significantly positive impact on the use of mobile financial services. On the other hand, population density and ac- cessibility to ATMs and branches have statistically significantly negative impact. These findings could suggest that (1) people who have financial account but less access to ATMs and branches use mobile financial services more as substitute, (2) people in countries with less population density use mobile financial services more because non-MFS financial institutions are uneconomical, (3) low-level literacy prevents people from the use of mobile financial services because most mobile financial services are offered by text, (4) government policy has some impact on the use of mobile financial services, (5) ade- quate market size is required for mobile financial services, and (6) there are still sub-Saharan specific factors other than listed variables above. These results provide new insight into the understanding of mobile financial services towards financial inclusion.