Mobile payment innovations improve water service delivery in Tanzania

New research from Oxford University has found that mobile payments and related innovations are improving urban water service provision in East Africa by increasing revenue collection and reducing corruption.

Water service providers in Tanzania often struggle to provide satisfactory water supplies in its rapidly growing cities due to inadequate revenue collection and inefficient billing and payment systems. Mobile payment innovations are being used to improve public service delivery in East Africa by increasing the ease of payment for customers, expanding revenue collection for water utilities, and removing opportunities for theft, bribery, and collusion.

The project examined the use of mobile money applications and wireless pay point networks for water bill payments in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. Data included 1,000,000 water payments made using different payment methods, 1097 surveys of water users in the city, and over 40 interviews with water sector officials and representatives with the telecommunications industry.

Researchers on the project include Aaron Krolikowski (School of Geography and the Environment), Professor Xiaolan Fu (Department of International Development), and Dr. Robert Hope (School of Geography and the Environment). Funding was provided by the Skoll Centre for Social Entrepreneurship.

The report, entitled “Wireless Water: Improving Urban Water Provision Through Mobile Finance Innovations” is accompanied by a policy brief and three analytical sub-reports on customer payment behaviours, governance, and user characteristics, which can be downloaded below.

Read the Oxford University press release

Report: Wireless Water: Improving Urban Water Provision Through Mobile Finance Innovations
Policy Brief: Improving Public Service Delivery with Mobile Payment Solutions
Analytical Perspectives: Mobile Payment Innovations and User Characteristics
Analytical Perspectives: Analytical Perspectives – Governance
Analytical Perspectives: Mobile Payment Innovations and Customer Payment Behaviours