Increasing Digital Savings and Borrowing Activity with Interactive SMS

Evidence from an experiment with the M-PAWA savings and loan mobile money product in Tanzania
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This paper is a supplement to the CGAP Blog, "Interactive SMS Drives Digital Savings and Borrowing in Tanzania"(August 2016).

The working paper describes an experiment that leveraged interactive SMS and behavioral economics principles, using the Arifu Platform, to develop and test new learning content designed to encourage account activity by Tanzanian farmers using M-PAWA. M-PAWA is a savings and credit product provided by Commercial Bank of Africa and Vodacom Tanzania on the M-Pesa mobile money platform.

The project utilized direct consumer research, transactional data analysis and human-centered design principles to develop educational content that can be delivered to the participants in the Connected Farmer’s Alliance program of TechnoServe, with the goal of increasing understanding of M-PAWA, activity levels in the accounts, informing consumers with educational content, and encouraging responsible financial behavior of consumers.

The findings in the report point to the potential of user-guided digital learning content to enhance the understanding, usage and overall experience of innovative digital financial services like M-PAWA. These products are rapidly expanding access to formal financial services in emerging markets such as Tanzania, making these findings important for the goals of financial inclusion, financial sector development, and financial capability.


This work was funded in whole or in part by CGAP. Unlike CGAP's official publications, it has not been peer reviewed or edited by CGAP, and any conclusions or viewpoints expressed are those of the authors, and they may or may not reflect the views of CGAP staff.

About this Publication

By Dyer, J., Mazer, R. & Ravichandar, N.