The Impact of Network Coverage on Adoption of Fintech Platforms and Financial Inclusion
African Economic Research Consortium
We study the effect of mobile network coverage on adoption of financial technologies and financial inclusion. Using georeferenced survey data for nine sub-Saharan Africa countries combined with information on towers, we find that financial inclusion is positively influenced by coverage. We estimate that investment in Long-Term Evolution (LTE) towers to a radius of 2km per household would increase financial inclusion by 6% in Mozambique and 3% in Ghana, Rwanda and Senegal. In countries where mobile money is common, investment in Global System for Mobile Communications (GSM) and Universal Mobile Telecommunications System (UMTS) would have a larger impact on financial inclusion. We also find no gender disparities in digital financial inclusion. However, financial inclusion inequalities are still explained by differences in incomes, education level and location.