Original Research - Mobile Technology within the 4IR era - Africa answering the call

Mobile financial services for bottom of pyramid users: Reality or pipe dream?

Clement Makholwa, Adheesh Budree, Salah Kabanda
The Journal for Transdisciplinary Research in Southern Africa | Vol 16, No 1 | a809 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/td.v16i1.809 | © 2020 Clement Makholwa, Adheesh Budree, Salah Kabanda | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 13 January 2020 | Published: 26 November 2020

About the author(s)

Clement Makholwa, Department of Information Systems, Faculty of Commerce, University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa
Adheesh Budree, Department of Information Systems, Faculty of Commerce, University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa
Salah Kabanda, Department of Information Systems, Faculty of Commerce, University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa


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Abstract

Mobile financial services (MFSs) are perceived to be a potential solution in addressing emerging economies’ challenges. Through MFS, benefits associated with economic financial inclusion and economic growth and opportunities could be realised. Yet, not all emerging economies fully experience these benefits, especially in sub-Saharan Africa and more specifically the bottom of the pyramid (BoP) group of individuals who are characterised as the world’s poorest consumers, living primarily in the informal sector. This study sought to examine the factors contributing to the BoP group’s behavioural intention to adopt MFS in South Africa. The study was positivist in nature, using survey-based questionnaires to garner information from BoP users on MFS adoption. Data were tested for validity and analysed by using structured equation modelling to assess the hypotheses. The findings show that habit, performance expectancy and uncertainty avoidance are strong predictors of behavioural intent. These findings can have significant implications on how MFS service providers operate in the South African context and can be used by government to drive technology as a basis for financial inclusion.


Keywords

Mobile financial services; Bottom of the pyramid; Emerging economies; Financial inclusion; Macro, medium and small enterprises (SMMEs)

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