Studies are available on mobile payment (MP) from most emerging markets, yet there is sparse research from Pakistan on how it can improve financial inclusion and equality. This qualitative study explores the socioeconomic conditions in Kenya and Pakistan, respectively. It examines how to utilize the successful strategy of M-Pesa to contemplate a MP Service that is accessible to all levels of society.
We analyze the influencing factors in Pakistan through market analysis, semi-structured interviews and surveys conducted with rural women. We argue that in order to improve financial inclusion and gender equality in Pakistan, the penetration rate of the MP Service must be able to reach critical mass amongst all income levels and social strata. Furthermore, our findings reveal that there is a gender digital divide due to technophobia and the lack of gender-friendly technology, which leaves the poor population and especially women financially excluded. Therefore, to improve financial inclusion and gender equality one must consider the specific socioeconomic context and provide a MP Service that is able to reach all residents.
Our work provides researchers with a societal context when addressing the digital and financial divide, and sheds a light on the unbanked and disenfranchised population of Pakistan.