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Sivapragasam, Nirmali / Aguero, Aileen / de Silva, Harsha / 2011. The potential of mobile remittances for the bottom of the pyramid: Findings from emerging Asia.
info, 13 (3): 91-109.

Purpose – This paper aims to explore the extent to which low-income migrant workers in emerging Asia are aware of and are likely to use mobile phones for remitting money to family members at home. Design/methodology/approach – Data were obtained through a survey of 1,500+ local and overseas migrant workers at the bottom of the socio-economic pyramid and subsequent qualitative research in Bangladesh, Pakistan, India, Sri Lanka, the Philippines and Thailand. Findings – Findings reveal that less than a quarter of respondents in India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka were aware of such services. However, the Philippines and Thailand reported awareness of levels of over 40 percent. Using a logit model to assess socio-economic characteristics of those aware of such services (versus those who are not), findings revealed those aware of such services tended to enjoy higher standards of living, in terms of both income and education and ownership of mobile phones and bank accounts. Barriers to use are also explored. Originality/value – This study is likely one of the first of its kind in attempting to empirically estimate socio-economic characteristics of those aware of such services versus those who are not. Such findings can, undoubtedly prove useful to operators in deciding how best to market such services, including addressing potential barriers to use, such as perceived ease of use and trust and reliability issues.


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Appeared in

Sector: Mobile Phone Money Mobile Phone Money, Phone
Region: East Africa South Asia, Southeast Asia