A1 Journal article (refereed)
Mobile money and the impact of mobile phone regulatory enforcement among the urban poor in Tanzania (2021)

Stark, L. (2021). Mobile money and the impact of mobile phone regulatory enforcement among the urban poor in Tanzania. Human Technology, 17(1), 22-44. https://doi.org/10.17011/ht/urn.202106223977

JYU authors or editors

Publication details

All authors or editors: Stark, Laura

Journal or series: Human Technology

ISSN: 1795-6889

eISSN: 1795-6889

Publication year: 2021

Volume: 17

Issue number: 1

Pages range: 22-44

Publisher: Jyväskylän Yliopisto

Place of Publication: Jyväskylä

Publication country: Finland

Publication language: English

DOI: https://doi.org/10.17011/ht/urn.202106223977

Persistent website address: https://ht.csr-pub.eu/index.php/ht/article/view/239

Publication open access: Openly available

Publication channel open access: Open Access channel

Publication is parallel published (JYX): https://jyx.jyu.fi/handle/123456789/76848


Mobile money provides a tool for survival, particularly in urban conditions shaped by city regulations that make microvending difficult for the poor. An analysis of 165 interviews conducted in two low-income neighborhoods in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania over 8 years demonstrates how interlocked layers of technology and interaction make mobile money services semiformal. I introduce two mobile money-enabled survival strategies: intrahousehold transfers for day-to-day survival (transfers within the same city) and resource safeguarding through kin remittances of start-up capital (home-based subsistence business capital stored for kin access in emergencies). The recent tightening of mobile phone regulations in the global South has disrupted users’ multilevel and formal/informal-hybrid infrastructures of money movement in these communities. Such tougher regulations could result in a new digital divide that hinders rather than facilitates the financial inclusion of the poor.

Keywords: developing countries; towns and cities; poverty; cell phones; mobile payment; electronic money; transfer of money; coping; legislation; income differences; national economy

Free keywords: Africa; financial inclusion

Contributing organizations

Ministry reporting: Yes

Reporting Year: 2021

JUFO rating: 1

Last updated on 2022-20-09 at 15:12