InterMedia have recently released a report for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation entitled ‘Mobile Money in Haiti: A Baseline Analysis of Access, Use and Barriers to Adoption‘ (July 2011). Based on 1,008 face-to-face surveys across Haiti’s departments, the report confirms our own findings presented in our April 2011 report on early adopters of mobile money in Haiti: the importance of security issues, the predominance of ‘me-to-me’ transactions over more traditional remittances, and willingness to try the new technology. InterMedia also found that education about mobile money and ease of access to mobile money agents will be key to the success of mobile money. The report presents some very interesting and useful data about domestic remittance routes, mobile money users’ education levels, and their experiences in dealing with agents.
Given that during both ours and InterMedia’s research periods (until April 2011) there were very few mobile money agents outside of Port-au-Prince, I was curious to see what InterMedia had discovered about mobile money adoption outside of the capital city. InterMedia’s report indicates that while most Haitians have heard about mobile money (especially through the radio or television advertisements), this familiarity does not necessarily translate into an understanding of what mobile money actually is (see page 31).