Digital remittances may be an effective tool for addressing extreme poverty in rural areas, but little is known about how to maximize their impact. In Bangladesh, researchers are working with IPA, United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) and BRAC Bank to evaluate the impact of aligning the financial goals of  remittance senders and recipients on financial behavior.

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Structural barriers including discrimination, gender-specific social and personal stigma, lower economic mobility and access to technology, and individual barriers including low self-efficacy and external locus of control (i.e., outcomes based on luck or chance), are among the challenges that can discourage women from resolving disputes with financial service providers when they arise. As a result, this can impede their use of key digital services.

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Digital technologies enable new financial products to reach historically unbanked populations, increasing financial access but also raising questions as to their broader social and economic impact. In Nigeria, researchers are working with a digital financial service provider who provided loans to applicants to assess how access to digital loans impacts the welfare of borrowers.

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Mobile financial services have become the main channel of financial inclusion, especially in low-income countries. However, consumer protection failures in the sector remain common.

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The price of digital financial services (DFS) can be an obstacle to its adoption and regular use, particularly in low-and-middle income countries (LMIC). In Bangladesh Innovations for Poverty Actions (IPA) is developing a transaction cost index (TCI) to measure the monetary and non-monetary costs of conducting DFS transactions. IPA researchers will test four methods to determine the most cost-effective way to accurately calculate real transaction costs.

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The price of digital financial services (DFS) can be an obstacle to its adoption and regular use, particularly in low-and-middle income countries (LMIC). In Tanzania Innovations for Poverty Actions (IPA) is developing a transaction cost index (TCI) to measure the monetary and non-monetary costs of conducting DFS transactions. IPA researchers will test four methods to determine the most cost-effective way to accurately calculate real transaction costs.

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The price of digital financial services (DFS) can be an obstacle to its adoption and regular use, particularly in low-and-middle income countries (LMIC). In Uganda Innovations for Poverty Actions (IPA) is developing a transaction cost index (TCI) to measure the monetary and non-monetary costs of conducting DFS transactions. IPA researchers will test four methods to determine the most cost-effective way to accurately calculate real transaction costs.

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Digital tools have enabled people around the world to access banking and financial services. The rise of these technologies, however, has been accompanied by an increase in fraud risks, which are often difficult to measure due to consumer underreporting or unawareness. In Kenya, researchers conducted a research project to measure individuals’ level of scam identification ability, asking participants to classify example messages as fraudulent or genuine.

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The high prevalence of digital financial fraud makes it difficult for businesses to distinguish between real communications from digital service providers and fraudulent communication. This can lead to a lack of trust in digital financial services.

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Fraud in mobile banking can be difficult to detect, and consumers often do not know they were targeted until after the transaction occurred. This can lead to consumer distrust of mobile banking services, particularly for consumers who have a higher chance of experiencing fraud, like women. In Ghana, researchers are measuring the impact of fraud recognition and avoidance training on encouraging female microfinance consumers to take up mobile banking services.

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Third-party fraud poses a significant threat to the healthy expansion of digital financial services and the financial health of consumers. In Uganda, researchers are conducting data analysis using customer service data and social media to identify risk factors associated with fraud. Based on the results, the research team will design fraud prevention messages aimed at vulnerable populations.

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Third-party fraud poses a significant threat to the healthy expansion of digital financial services and the financial health of consumers. In Uganda, researchers are conducting data analysis using customer service data and social media to identify risk factors associated with fraud. Based on the results, the research team will design fraud prevention messages aimed at vulnerable populations.

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Disputes over mobile money transactions between consumers and service providers often go unresolved. This may hurt consumers, prevent them from paying their bills, and reduce their trust in providers. As such, the lack of resolution can discourage consumers from adopting potentially advantageous mobile accounts. In Uganda, researchers are designing an intervention offering free legal consultation to mobile money consumers to help resolve disputes with service providers.

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How do inexperienced consumers learn to use a new financial technology? Consumer financial products, such as bank and mobile money accounts, can significantly increase financial inclusion, yet inexperienced consumers of new financial technologies are often vulnerable to exploitation by financial intermediaries. Can an electronic bank or mobile money payroll system increase account usage and savings, while reducing consumer risks?

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