Munich Personal RePEc Archive

Mobile Phones and Financial Access: Evidence from the Finscope Surveys of Selected Asian Countries

Lay, Sok Heng (2018): Mobile Phones and Financial Access: Evidence from the Finscope Surveys of Selected Asian Countries.

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Abstract

This paper assesses the impact of mobile phones on the use of formal banking services in some Asian countries. Using the FinScope Surveys of Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Nepal, and Thailand conducted between 2012 and 2015, the paper applies a probit model to both cross-sectional and pooled data set. The results consistently suggest that having a mobile phone increases the probability of having access to financial services. The findings also highlight the importance of education which increases the likelihood of being formally banked, while distance or time to banking infrastructure is likely to remain a significant barrier for people to access to financial services for all countries. Other factors associated with the likelihood of changes in the levels of access to financial services vary widely from country to country.

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