Voucher agent in Arusha
Gunnar Camner and Emil Sjöblom recently spent three months in Tanzania for their master’s thesis in Media Technology at the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH) in Stockholm, Sweden, to investigate mobile banking services from a user perspective.

In which contexts do alternative uses, e.g. savings, become popular and why?

The final report will be presented during autumn 2009 and made available at the project blog. Meanwhile, they sent a dispatch to the CGAP blog:

“While M-PESA in Tanzania has had a hard time competing with its sibling in Kenya in user uptake, there is one way of sending money via the mobile phone that is very popular in the country. That is by using airtime top-up vouchers. The most common way to do this is to buy an airtime voucher, scratch it in order to get the code and then text the code in an SMS to the person you want to send money to. It is then up to the recipient to go out and sell the code to people who want to buy airtime, or resellers and shops that in turn will sell it to people wanting airtime.”

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You can also more about the project here or download the whole project outline here (pdf).