The impact of information and communication technology on intermediation, outreach, and decision rights in the microfinance industry
The microfinance industry provides financial services to the world's poor in hopes of moving individuals and families out of poverty. This dissertation document suggests that information and communication technologies (ICTs) are changing the microfinance industry, especially given recent advancements in mobile banking, Internet usage and connectivity, and a decreasing digital divide. These impacts are discussed in three essays. First, ICTs impact intermediation among various players in the microfinance industry. Second, ICTs impact the extent to which microfinance institutions (MFIs) extend their outreach to poorer or more geographically remote borrowers. Finally, ICTs impact the location of decision rights given newly forming peer-to-peer (P2P) social microlending organizations. As the microfinance industry increases its adoption and reliance on ICTs, new and interesting opportunities abound for researchers in the information systems discipline.