Seminar Vol. 209
Title: Informational Intervention in Mobile Banking Adoption: Evidence from a Randomized Field Experiment
Speaker: Christina Li, University of Cambridge
Time: December 20th, 2019 15:00-16:30
Venue: Conference Room 106B, IESR, Zhonghui Building (College of Economics)
About the speaker:
Christina Li is a University Lecturer in real estate finance at the University of Cambridge. She obtained her Ph.D. degree from the University of Hong Kong in 2017. Her research areas include behavioural economics, real estate and urban economics, household finance, and rural finance. Since 2017, she has been working on a collaborative research project between the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) and the National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC) on behavioral sciences and rural finance in China. With the cooperation of local banks, she has been conducting field experiments to help consumers develop good financial habits in rural China.
As an important part of the development of financial inclusion, mobile banking offers an alternative interface for engaging with bank accounts, which allows customers to access various payment services, such as account bank enquiry, remittance, bill payment and financial management. This functionality provides bank account users in less developed areas great convenience by freeing them from temporal and spatial constraints and enabling them to use bank services at anytime from anywhere. Given these substantial benefits, this paper analyses a randomized field experiment to shed light on the role of information in customers’ decisions to adopt mobile banking via smart phones. By cooperating with a Rural Commercial Bank in China, we randomly introduced specific information regarding mobile bank to customers and examined whether it is possible to affect their behaviours using such a relatively inexpensive informational intervention. We find substantial effects of our relatively mild intervention: the participants that received specific information about mobile bank are more likely to actively use mobile bank to manage their financial services than the participants who received none. We also find that, in comparison to non-users or inactive users, active mobile bank users consume less, which requires fewer remittances and deposits to make ends meet.