With the flagship success of m-Pesa, mobile devices have become an important tool to facilitate financial inclusion of the previously unbanked population in developing countries. Attempts to provide a landscape of academic research findings from a critical perspective has been rather scant. To fill this gap, this study conducts a systematic review of 54 academic research papers vis-à-vis the nexus of mobile, financial inclusion and development. The result shows that the extant literature addresses three major clusters of topics including delivery, environmental factors, and impact of mobile financial services. Still in the nascent stage of research, the topics covered in the literature indicate a skewed balance towards delivery-related issues in a technology-oriented perspective rather than their linkages to financial inclusion and broader socioeconomic development. The choice of research methods also shows a limited variety and depth. This research contributes to understanding the current research on mobile financial services for financial inclusion in developing countries, and finding out research gaps for future study.
Kim, Minjin; Zoo, Hanah; Lee, Heejin; and Kang, Juhee, "Mobile, Financial Inclusion and Development: A Critical Review of Academic Literature" (2017). GlobDev 2017. 4.