EPAR regularly addresses research questions around adoption and use of digital financial services (DFS). For example, what drives people to begin using new technologies and practices that research indicates will improve their lives? How does providing information and education to targeted beneficiaries affect adoption and long-term sustained use? Below we list EPAR’s research products related to DFS.

  • Impact of Regulations on Cash-In and Cash-Out Networks (EPAR Technical Report #355): EPAR's work on CICO networks consists of five components. First, we summarize types of recent mobile money and branchless banking regulations related to CICO networks and review available evidence on the potential impacts of these regulations on markets and consumers. In addition to this technical report we developed a short addendum (EPAR 355a) which includes a description of findings on patterns around CICO regulations over time. Another addendum (EPAR 355b) summarizes trends in exclusivity regulations including overall trends, country-specific approaches to exclusivity, and a table showing how available data on DFS adoption from the Financial Inclusion Insights (FII) and Global Systems for Mobile Communication Assocuation (GSMA) surveys might relate to changes in exclusivity policies over time. A third addendum (EPAR 355c) explores trends in CICO network expansion with a focus on policies seeking to improve access among more remote or under-served populations.
  • Digital Financial Services & Gender: An Analysis of Correlates of Awareness, Adoption, and Use (EPAR Technical Report # 317): In this report we analyze three waves of nationally-representative household survey data from Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Nigeria, Pakistan, Bangladesh, India, and Indonesia to explore sociodemographic and economic factors associated with mobile money adoption, awareness, and use across countries and over time.
  • Review of Digital Credit Products and Regulations (EPAR Technical Report # 351): Two EPAR reports review the characteristics of digital credit offerings in India, Kenya, Nigeria, Tanzania, and Uganda, and regulations specific to digital credit in Africa and Asia.
  • Rural/Urban Divides in Mobile Coverage Expansion (EPAR Technical Report # 261): In this paper, we estimate the proportion of the population living in areas without mobile coverage globally and in selected regions and countries, and use spatial analysis to identify where these populations are concentrated. We then compare our coverage estimates to data from previous years and estimates from the most recent literature to provide a picture of recent trends in coverage expansion, considering separately the trends for coverage of urban and rural populations. In a follow-up paper, we investigate the assumption that levels of mobile network coverage are related to the degree of market liberalization at the country level.
  • Review of Digital Financial Services Consumer Protection Regulations in Developing Countries (EPAR Technical Report # 324): We review the literature on consumer protection institutions and regulatory documents for DFS (particularly mobile money) in 22 developing countries, and identify examples of specific consumer protection regulations relevant to mobile money in each country.
  • Review of Rural and Agricultural Finance in Sub-Saharan Africa (EPAR Technical Report # 307): This report reviews and summarizes the existing evidence on the impact of access to financial services/products on measures of production, income and wealth, consumption and food security, and resilience for smallholder farmers and other rural customers and their households in Sub-Saharan Africa.
  • Review of Digital Financial Services Interoperability in Developing Countries (EPAR Technical Report # 313): We review the literature on the status of interoperable payment schemes and regulations for financial services (particularly mobile money) in 46 developing countries, and identify examples of countries with interoperable mobile money schemes and/or regulations pertaining to mobile money and/or interoperability.
  • Gender Issues in Digital Financial Services (EPAR Technical Report #311): This report provides a summary of findings from six Financial Inclusion Insights (FII) data analysis reports conducted by various agencies. These reports investigate barriers to financial inclusion and use of DFS in Bangladesh, India, Kenya, Nigeria, Pakistan, Tanzania, and Uganda. We compile comparable gender-specific statistics, summarize the authors’ findings to determine commonalities and differences across countries, and highlight gender-specific conclusions and recommendations provided in the studies.