What Really Matters in the Decision of Informal Firms to Adopt Mobile Money for Business? Evidence from Burkina Faso

Working Paper
Published on 31 August 2022

Abstract

This paper investigates the willingness and barriers to adoption of mobile money merchant accounts by the informal businesses in Burkina Faso. We use business survey data from a quasi-experimental opening of mobile money merchant accounts that we conducted in March 2021. Our data enable us to contribute to the existing literature in two main ways. We take into account the impact of the Covid-19 shock as well as recent political turmoil in Burkina Faso, such as the Coup d’Etat of 24 January 2022. Using a Linear Probability Model, our findings indicate that security, transactional patterns, usage of personal mobile money and the nature of the activity are important factors driving the adoption of merchant accounts. Precisely, business owners who perceive that their businesses are located in an unsafe area or face challenges to handle small cash/coins or use personal mobile money account to receive payments are more likely to adopt a mobile money merchant account. Moreover, business owners able to conduct their activities remotely are more likely to adopt mobile money merchant accounts and to overcome the negative effect of the temporary closure of businesses during the covid-19. The results are robust to alternative model specifications and dependent variable. Overall, our results are in line with policymakers’ agenda worldwide to improve financial inclusion among private sector businesses by using mobile technologies.

Authors

Serge Stéphane Ky

Université de Ouahigouya

Clovis Rugemintwari

Université de Limoges