Organizational models of mobile payment systems in low-resource environments

Greg Wenner, Joshua T. Bram, Martin Marino, Eric Obeysekare, Khanjan Mehta

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


The rapid growth and diffusion of mobile phones in the developing world has created an inclusive and dynamic platform to address a smorgasbord of socio-economic challenges. The uptake of mobile payment (m-payment) systems is a compelling example of how such a platform can be leveraged to democratize access to online banking and financial services. M-payment systems encompass mobile phone-based applications that enable the transfer of value while affording users’ security, accessibility, and efficiency and helping organizations reduce overheads and foster transparency. While M-Pesa and a few other systems are well documented, the literature is sparse on the different methods of using m-payment systems in developing countries. Based on a comprehensive literature review that includes 64 different m-payment applications from around the world, this article synthesizes 12 organizational models. The presentation of each of these models includes an explanatory visual, brief description, and several examples to illustrate its opportunities and benefits. This article culminates with a discussion of common implementation challenges, best practices, and gaps in the extant ecosystem. This will inform innovators and entrepreneurs seeking to strengthen, design, and implement m-payment systems that bridge the last-mile challenge of financial inclusion.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)681-705
Number of pages25
JournalInformation Technology for Development
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Development
  • Public Administration
  • Computer Science Applications


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