From street to satellite: Mixing methods to understand mobile money users
Article first published online: 11 FEB 2014
© 2013 by The American Anthropological Association. Some rights reserved.
Ethnographic Praxis in Industry Conference Proceedings
Volume 2013, Issue 1, pages 88–102, September 2013
How to Cite
TAYLOR, E. B. and HORST, H. A. (2013), From street to satellite: Mixing methods to understand mobile money users. Ethnographic Praxis, 2013: 88–102. doi: 10.1111/j.1559-8918.2013.00008.x
- Issue published online: 11 FEB 2014
- Article first published online: 11 FEB 2014
How do users incorporate mobile money into their existing practices and adapt it to their needs? The answers can be surprising. Simultaneously a commodity, a store of value, and a social good, mobile money combines a large array of applications within the one platform. This is why mobile money has been touted for its potential for socioeconomic development, as a profitable commercial enterprise, and even as a tool for strengthening governance. The fact that customers rarely use it for just one purpose can also make it difficult to untangle customers’ motives and behaviors. In this paper we compare our own research with other studies to demonstrate how deploying a full suite of ethnographic methods (qualitative and quantitative) can provide significant insights into users. We present three key insights relating to time, trust, and traces / trajectories, and make suggestions for the future of mobile money research.