Mobile Money Project


In contexts ranging from health and agriculture to product marketing and job search, networks matter in how individuals make decisions. In the context of mobile money and mobile phones, social networks play a critical role in determining eventual technology adoption. In Pakistan, take-up and usage of mobile money accounts has been relatively low. This is despite the fact that mobile money is considered potentially less expensive, more convenient, and can offer a wider range of financial services (such as savings accounts or insurance) than many other payment channels (such as over-the-counter services, or more informal channels such as transfers made through friends, relatives or even public transport).

The project’s three year pilot work in Pakistan highlighted the benefits of leveraging networks in marketing campaigns. The goal of the project was to understand how and why social networks matter in mobile money adoption and active use. Working alongside Pakistan’s leading telecom operator, Telenor Easypaisa, the researchers implemented a large-scale network experiment incentivising existing mobile account holders to refer their friends or relatives to the mobile money platform. By leveraging referrals, the study aimed to identify the channels through which referral-based interventions can be most effective at increasing the take-up and sustained usage of mobile money in Pakistan.

Principal Investigators

Dr. Greg Fisher , London School of Economics
Dr. Dean Karlan, Yale University
Dr. Adnan Qadir Khan, London School of Economics
Dr. Tavneet Suri, International Growth Center
Dr. Joshua Blumenstock, University of California Berkely
Dr. William Jack, Georgetown University

Partners and Funders

Innovations for Poverty Action
Easy Paisa

Project Period