Mobile Money Payment: An Antidote to Petty Corruption?

Using a two-period panel comprising firm-level data from the 2007 and 2013 World Bank Enterprise Surveys, this paper investigates the impact of mobile money use on bribe payments in Kenya. Results based on a matched difference-in-differences estimator demonstrate that adopting mobile money for financial transactions leads to a 3.1 percentage point reduction in bribe payments. This can be explained considering that mobile money transactions leave behind a detailed trail of digital records and accounts, which may curb acts of bribery. Our findings suggest that official mobile money payments can be a practical and effective anti-corruption intervention.