Teaching Case - The Quest for Achieving Financial Inclusion: M-Pesa Versus UPI

The Quest for Achieving Financial Inclusion: M-Pesa Versus UPI


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  • Product Description

    In 2019, World Bank analyst Abebi Eke had a difficult assignment: decide whether to recommend that the World Bank, in line with its commitment to expanding financial inclusion to the world’s poor, lend its support to a particular digital payments scheme. Eke was asked to investigate two of the most promising payment systems—UPI in India and M-Pesa in Kenya—and prepare a memo comparing the benefits and drawbacks of each. Eke had discovered that while successful digital payment systems often shared some aspects of their operating business models, their agent networks and even their marketing campaigns, their regulatory and corporate structures could be quite dissimilar. She also learned that digital payment services had flourished in some countries, both developed and developing, but not in others. Why? The  World Bank’s own research revealed that of the five countries that most successfully implemented mobile money—a form of digital payments—one was a low-income economy, one a lower-middle-income economy, and three were considered upper-middle-income economies, demonstrating there was no one route to achieving financial inclusion. To write her memo, Eke needed to deeply understand the drivers of and barriers to success in digital payments.

    The case presents students with a rich understanding of both digital payment systems, allowing students to compare and contrast them while assessing each one’s likely success in another country.

    Learning Objective:
    Students will learn the complexities of assessing the success factors of a public policy and how or whether a policy can be replicated in a new geopolitical context.

  • Other Details

    Publication Date: February 3, 2020
    HKS Case Number: 2173.0
    Case Author(s): Laura Winig
    Faculty Lead: David Eaves
    Pages (incl. exhibits): 28
    Setting: Kenya
    Language: English
    Funding Source: The Joseph B. Tompkins, Jr. Fund for Case Study and Research
    _year: 2019-2020
    _pages: 25+
    _geography: Africa
  • Warranty Information

    /review/2173_0_EducatorCopy.pdf, /teachingplan/2173_2.pdf