Published on March 1, 2014

Informal financial practices and social networks: Transaction genealogies


Mobile money transfers (MMT) have enabled informal financial sector transactions to grow and operate more efficiently, offering increased competition to the formal financial sector. Recent research has found that MMT is facilitating informal interpersonal transfers that are far more varied and complex than suggested by the ‘send money home’ domestic remittance entry-point rationale of M-Pesa (Johnson, Brown & Fouillet, 2012). This report shares the findings from an investigation of the types of exchanges involved in interpersonal transfers, the social relationships involved, the nature of these transactions, and the contexts in which they occur. It concludes with an examination of what these may imply for financial services providers and their customer relationships.

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