Repository logo

Mobile money as a strategy for financial inclusion and improving livelihood of rural consumers in Zimbabwe.

Thumbnail Image



Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title



Mobile financial services have posed as a potential remedy to the financial inclusion challenge for the disadvantaged communities. The main aim of the study was to assess whether the deployment of mobile money services has increased the accessibility, financial inclusion and led to improved economic well-being through the development of a structural model demonstrating how mobile money service usage impacts on the livelihoods of rural households in Zimbabwe. To accomplish the above stated objectives, the study used a composite approach, a partially mixed sequential dominant design, with the quantitative approach dominating the research design. The quantitative method, together with the qualitative approach, was employed for the comprehensive research design (mixed methods) where the use of focus group discussions (FGD) was utilised to gain an understanding of users’ experiences in using mobile money in the study area. The FGD results were then used to develop measurement scales for mobile money impact variables / factors. To select the sample size of 367 respondents in Kwekwe Rural District, also known as ZIBAGWE, a multi-stage random sampling method was used in this study. To gather data for the study, a questionnaire developed and used as a research instrument targeted rural household heads. The findings of the study revealed that on the access and usage of financial services, there was great improvement in accessing financial services with the emergence of mobile money services compared to bank access in terms of distance walked to the nearest branch by the rural people before the mobile money alternative. Education had a strong bearing on mobile money usage as shown by a Chi-square value of 62.80 and a p-value of 0.000. To analyse data, structural equation modelling was employed to test and validate the model. The structural equation modelling was performed in two stages, where the first step entailed the estimation of the measurement model through the confirmatory factor analysis and the second step involved the estimation of the structural model by examining the structural relations as hypothesized in the model. The results showed that the measurement model fits data satisfactorily and the proposed model fits well the observed data as shown by the goodness of fit indices (CMIN/df = 2.798, GFI = 0.842, CFI = 0.954, TLI = 0.947 and RMSEA = 0.072). Similarly, on the structural model, the results showed that the structural model fits the data well, attaining the fit indices CMIN/df = 2.631, GFI = 0.846, CFI = 0.956, TLI = 0.951 and RMSEA = 0.068. Given these fit indices, the model can be used with confidence to conclude on the stated research hypotheses. Most of the relationships in the structural model were significant at least at the 95% confidence interval. Overall, the study concludes that mobile money has potential positive impacts on the rural livelihoods as demonstrated by positive effects of the factors in the structural model. The study recommends that mobile network operators and financial regulators need to continue with the promotion and encouragement of mobile financial services usage by all economic players in the different sectors of the economy. Consequently, if total adoption and acceptance were to be achieved in all customers, businesses and service providers, the demand for cash will be reduced, especially in the rural communities where adoption by businesses and service providers is lagging behind. The study findings have far reaching implications with regards policy making on rural livelihoods. The study provides evidence on how mobile financial services impact on rural livelihoods. Therefore, policy makers can craft policies (financial inclusion) that will promote and improve access and delivery of financial services to the rural people.


Doctoral degree. University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban.