The Digital Lives of Refugees: How Displaced Populations Use Mobile Phones and What Gets in the Way

Offering opportunities for stakeholders to increase understanding of how refugees use mobile money

Mobile money is available in 90 countries across the globe, including three-quarters of low- and lower-middle-income countries, making it the leading payment platform for a digital economy in emerging markets. For refugees, the vast majority of whom reside in the developing world (84 percent), mobile money offers a lifeline to better financial management. This is particularly true in harder to reach locations, where the prevalence of other financial services is often lower.

This report digs deeper into findings and recommendations across five thematic areas – one of which is mobile financial services – in three contexts: urban settings in Jordan, Kiziba camp in Rwanda and Bidi Bidi settlement in Uganda. Due to the low use of mobile money in Jordan – only one percent of refugees surveyed reported using mobile money – this portion of the research therefore focuses primarily on Kiziba camp and Bidi Bidi settlement.

About this Publication

By Jenny Casswell