Mobile money platforms key for greater social ties - study

Mobile money platforms are key in promoting cohesion and reducing barriers to social inclusion, a new study by three American university researchers shows. 

Professor Sibel Kusimba of the American University in Washington D, Nitesh Chawla and Yang Yang of the University of Notre Dame, Indiana, say the platforms help reinforce pre-existing forms of emotional support and social relationships — like in the case where family and friends bail out each other. 

“Using small and frequent digital money transfers, relatives provide for household and emergency needs, contribute to ceremonies, and help pay school fees and medical bills,” they say in their research paper titled Family networks of mobile money in Kenya. Information Technologies & International Development.’

“We find that digital money transfers follow and reinforce preexisting forms of emotional support and social relationships.”