Rural Markets Detection for Financial Inclusion with Mobile Data Analytics

Uganda, Tanzania & Madagascar


Context and Issues

Financial inclusion is very low in rural areas and it is challenging and costly for mobile money operators to reach many rural people at a low cost.

Masae was contracted to detect places where rural people often gather (markets, etc.) to staff roving agents to meet with them when these gatherings happen.


Solution

Using mobile data only, Masae developed an algorithm to detect where and when people tend to gather periodically (every Tuesday, every two weeks, etc.) by detecting unusual peaks in mobile usage.

This then allows mobile money operators to build a network of roving agents to meet with rural people on the right days in the right place.

Field visits were conducted on detected places to validate the outputs of the algorithm.