Mobile Phones

Research has shown the most effective way to significantly expand lower-income populations’ access to formal financial services is through a digital channel, and the optimal digital channel is the cell phone. In Kenya, Tanzania, and Nigeria, nine in 10 adults have mobile phone and SIM card access. Comparing FII countries, more mobile phone users in Africa use their phones for advanced services than do those in Asia. The least likely groups to own mobile phones across FII countries are females, rural residents, and the poor, which is a barrier to digital financial services uptake. As more people across the globe begin to use mobile phones and digital financial services, providers will have a wider opportunity to know their customers digitally and offer them products better suited to their needs.

Mobile Phones Access and Ownership

total population
79% of Tanzanians above the poverty line own a mobile phone and sim card, a higher percentage than those below the poverty line (56%).

Ownership by Demographic

By gender
by urbanity
by poverty level

Use of Mobile Phones for Advanced Functions

all phone users
by urbanity
by gender
by poverty level

Which FII country has the highest percentage of adults with access to a mobile phone and SIM card?

A. Pakistan
B. Kenya
C. Indonesia
D. Tanzania
B. Kenya (91%)

True or false

In all FII countries, adult males dominate mobile phone and SIM card ownership.


True or false

Among the eight FII countries, Kenya has the highest access to mobile phones and SIM cards.

True (91%)

What percentage of adult Ugandan phone users have a smart phone?

A. 60%
B. 25%
C. 8%
D. 10%
D. 10%

True or false

Among FII countries, Uganda has the lowest percentages of adults who own a mobile phone and SIM card.

True (54%)

True or false

Pakistan has the lowest percentage of adult females who use a mobile phone for advanced functions.

True (14%)