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Mystery Shopping for Digital Financial Services: A Toolkit

This toolkit was developed with funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, in partnership with CGAP and the International Telecommunication Union’s (ITU) Focus Group on Digital Financial Services (DFS). It is designed to help DFS regulators, providers, research firms, and other stakeholders use mystery shopping to monitor DFS markets. A mystery shopping exercise conducted in Zambia, in partnership with the Zambia Information & Communications Technology Authority (ZICTA)—the national telecommunications regulator—is cited throughout this toolkit for illustration.

This toolkit lays out a step-by-step guide to conducting a DFS mystery shopping study. The main audiences for this paper are regulators and supervisors and the field research firms they hire to carry out the mystery shopping.

CGAP is a global partnership of more than 30 leading development organizations that works to advance the lives of poor people through financial inclusion. Using action-oriented research, we test, learn and share knowledge intended to help build inclusive and responsible financial systems that move people out of poverty, protect their economic gains and advance broader development goals. We research and experiment to achieve proof of concept and extract lessons that can be built to scale by our partners, who apply our insights in the marketplace.

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