Mobile 2.0: M-money for the BoP in the Philippines

Erwin Alampay, Gemma Bala

Abstract


This paper explores the reach and use of m-money among the bottom of the pyramid (BoP) in the Philippines using survey data from LIRNEasia’s 2008 Mobile 2.0 surveys. It looks at m-money’s potential and actual use for remittance among internal and external migrant workers and their families. The results are triangulated with focus group data and literature on mobile and electronic money, and framed using Van Dijk’s (2006) Stages of Access to digital technologies. Although usage of m-money among the BoP remains low, the ICT infrastructure for this is in place. Compared to other Asian countries where the survey was also conducted, Filipinos are more familiar and have higher trust in mobile electronic transactions. Managing their resistance to change from current offline remitting practices remains a challenge.

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