“The Paper Slip Should be There!”
Perceptions of Transaction Receipts in Branchless
Banking
Saurabh Panjwani*, Mohona Ghos...
Branchless Banking
• Extends banking services to low-income
communities without installing physical branches
Branchless Ba...
Our Partner – Eko

Courtesy: eko

• Leading branchless banking company in India
–

Business correspondent to State Bank of...
Money Transfers in Eko
Bank Server

SMS receipts
(sent to both users)

“Transfer amount X
to account Y”

Agent

An SMS rec...
Our Study
• A qualitative study to understand user perceptions
of SMS receipts in branchless banking
• Two points of inves...
Method and User Sample
• We used a combination of semi-structured
interviews and participant observations
– 87 real transa...
Key Findings
• Users viewed SMS receipts as important but worried
about SMS delays and drops
– 16% of observed transaction...
The Paper Receipt Phenomenon
• Paper receipts became an instrument of convenience
– New agent strategy: Give receipt for c...
The Paper Receipt Phenomenon
• Customers report in support of paper receipts
“The slip should be there! [If] the SMS does ...
Conclusion
• Branchless banking users desire reliability and security
for receipts
– Paper gives better reliability but SM...
Thank you
References
[MM10] M-Money Channel Distribution Case - Kenya, 2010.
http://www.microfinancegateway.org
[Panjwani-13] Panjwa...
For any further information, please write to
pk@iiitd.ac.in
precog.iiitd.edu.in
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“The Paper Slip Should be There!” Perceptions of Transaction Receipts in Branchless Banking

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Mobile-based branchless banking has become a key mechanism for enabling financial inclusion in the developing world. A key component of all branchless banking systems is a mechanism to provide receipts to users after each transaction as evidence for successful transaction completion. In this paper, we present results from a field study that explores user perceptions of different receipt delivery mechanisms in the
context of a branchless banking system in India. Our study shows that users have an affinity for paper receipts: despite the provision of an SMS receipt functionality by the system developers and their discouragement of the use of paper, users have pro-actively initiated a practice of issuing and accepting
paper receipts. Several users are aware of the security limitations of paper receipts but continue to use them because of their usability benefits. We conclude with design recommendations for receipt delivery systems in branchless banking.

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“The Paper Slip Should be There!” Perceptions of Transaction Receipts in Branchless Banking

  1. 1. “The Paper Slip Should be There!” Perceptions of Transaction Receipts in Branchless Banking Saurabh Panjwani*, Mohona Ghosh#, Ponnurangam K#, Soumya Vardhan Singh# *Bell Labs India #IIIT Delhi
  2. 2. Branchless Banking • Extends banking services to low-income communities without installing physical branches Branchless Banking Traditional Banking Bank Branch (urban) Mom ‘n pop shop (peri-urban, rural) Teller Customer Agent (shopkeeper) Courtesy: CKS Customer • Current reach: > 100M users (> 40M in India alone)
  3. 3. Our Partner – Eko Courtesy: eko • Leading branchless banking company in India – Business correspondent to State Bank of India (largest Indian bank) + 2 private banks • Main service offering: money transfer (remittances) – – Target audience: unbanked urban migrant workers Transaction volume: $1 million per day
  4. 4. Money Transfers in Eko Bank Server SMS receipts (sent to both users) “Transfer amount X to account Y” Agent An SMS receipt Customer • SMS receipts are key part of the system (proves to customer that transaction has been recorded by Eko)
  5. 5. Our Study • A qualitative study to understand user perceptions of SMS receipts in branchless banking • Two points of investigation – Usability concerns: What factors affect usability of the SMS receipt technology? – Security perceptions: How do customers view SMS receipts in relation to transaction security?
  6. 6. Method and User Sample • We used a combination of semi-structured interviews and participant observations – 87 real transactions observed in the field • Sample: – 67 users (15 agents, 52 customers) from New Delhi, India – Customers were largely migrant workers living in slums, employed as laborers, cooks, drivers, micro-entrepreneurs – Limited education (75% without college degree) – Limited exposure to banking • In sum, > 100 man-hours spent in the field
  7. 7. Key Findings • Users viewed SMS receipts as important but worried about SMS delays and drops – 16% of observed transactions experienced > 5-min delay – SMS delays are a problem across systems e.g., M-Pesa [MM10] • Agents started issuing paper receipts in response – “Even if the SMS is late, this serves as proof that you made the deposit” – 70% of the agents we visited had adopted this practice
  8. 8. The Paper Receipt Phenomenon • Paper receipts became an instrument of convenience – New agent strategy: Give receipt for cash now, do the transaction later – This increases operational efficiency but introduces new risks: What if the agent doesn’t complete transaction? – Eko discourages the strategy but it continues to persist
  9. 9. The Paper Receipt Phenomenon • Customers report in support of paper receipts “The slip should be there! [If] the SMS does not come, it’d be of use” – Other benefits: more tangible, more accessible. Some even find them more storable: “My phone can store only 20 [SMS receipts].” • Paper receipts affect customer attention towards SMS – In shops with paper receipts, only 38% customers make eyecontact with SMS (compared with 86% in the rest!) • Still, most customers don’t want SMS to be eliminated “I have more trust in SMS. Even if I get a paper receipt, it does not mean that the money has reached.”
  10. 10. Conclusion • Branchless banking users desire reliability and security for receipts – Paper gives better reliability but SMS more secure • Key design recommendations – Increase reliability of existing SMS receipt technology • Ongoing work: pull-based SMS receipts [Panjwani13] – Use a (careful) combination of SMS and paper
  11. 11. Thank you
  12. 12. References [MM10] M-Money Channel Distribution Case - Kenya, 2010. http://www.microfinancegateway.org [Panjwani-13] Panjwani, S. Practical Receipt Authentication for Branchless Banking. In ACM DEV 2013.
  13. 13. For any further information, please write to pk@iiitd.ac.in precog.iiitd.edu.in

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