Given the Peruvian poor’s lack of access to formal financial services, and its severe consequences on human development; in 2015 the Peruvian government announced its Strategic Plan for Financial Inclusion, which points to electronic money as a key mechanism for speeding up financial inclusion. In early 2016, the Pagos Digitales Peruanos company (PDP) launched BIM: an electronic wallet targeted to those without access to financial services. PDP currently faces several challenges related to BIM adoption in poor communities, particularly lack of trust and change resistance. We propose to study a BIM diffusion strategy in which academically successful individuals from targeted communities play the primary role in spreading information and training. These individuals are drawn from Beca18, a program that facilitates access to post-secondary studies for impoverished high school graduates. In other words, we will explore whether adoption of financial technologies among the poor can be speeded-up by using role models from the community in the diffusion process. PDP has confirmed its support for our project. Other stakeholders like the Commission for Financial Inclusion, the Banking and Insurance Bureau and the Peruvian Ministry of Education have also expressed their interest. PDP will grant us access to anonymized BIM adoption and usage records. We will also implement a baseline and follow up surveys to capture information on other variables that can be affected by our intervention. Financial inclusion is closely connected to economic performance and productivity, and we will also explore gender issues related to BIM adoption, all important themes at PEP.
Project leader: Marcos Agurto
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