About FITS

Supporting Strategies in Mobile Money Access

What Is FITS?

The The Financial Inclusion Tracker Surveys Project (FITS) Project is a multiyear research initiative providing critical data, analysis and insights to stakeholders in the mobile money field in particular, and in financial inclusion generally. The FITS Project supports strategic planning, benchmarking, monitoring and impact assessment for mobile money and financial inclusion projects.

InterMedia is currently working with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s Financial Services for the Poor program to implement FITS in Pakistan, Tanzania and Uganda – identified by the Gates FSP team as markets where mobile money is poised to achieve scale and serve as models for other countries. FITS may be expanded to other countries, depending on local market developments.

The project was designed with substantial input from the financial inclusion stakeholder community. It is based on the assumption that people in developing countries require safe, convenient and affordable ways to manage their money, especially those people with little money who need to be able to manage it carefully but who are often excluded from the formal banking system.  

What is the FITS research program?

InterMedia and local research partners are currently implementing in-depth household panel surveys with national coverage in the three study countries. Surveys are conducted annually in each country. (Get more info on the project, the surveys and their precedents on the FITS methodology page)

The “panel” structure means that we intend to survey the same households each year to track trends in financial and mobile money behavior, as well as to facilitate analysis of the welfare effects of mobile money use, particularly in terms of how people manage household economic shocks.

Between the annual surveys, InterMedia will conduct SMS mini-surveys to retain contact with the panel households, monitor shorter-term trends and stay abreast of any new developments in mobile money use.

What will the FITS Project produce?

The primary goal is to create general purpose datasets to provide windows on mobile money market developments from the user perspective. The datasets, as well as various summary and analytical reports for each country, will be available on this website for use by all supporters of mobile money and financial inclusion, mobile operators and other market participants, regulators, civil society groups and other local stakeholders.

InterMedia will also load key portions of the datasets into a user-friendly data query tool. As the surveys will be similar across countries, the data tool will help facilitate comparisons.

The results will also be widely disseminated globally by InterMedia and by Gates FSP, as well as in the study countries by local dissemination partners.