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Sophia T. Anong

College of Family and Consumer Sciences

Financial Planning, Housing and Consumer Economics

AAAS Science & Technology Policy Fellow at USAID 2021-22 | Associate Professor

206 Charles Schwab Financial Planning Center
407 Sanford Dr.
Athens, GA 30602

Address:
129 Stuckey Building UGA Griffin Campus
1109 Experiment Street

Griffin, GA 30223

sanong@uga.edu

Education

Degree Field of Study Institution Graduation
Ph.D. Family and Consumer Economics Purdue University 2006
M.S. Agricultural Economics Purdue University 2003
B.S. Agriculture & Natural Resources Africa University, Zimbabwe 1997

Research

  • Mobile money and digitized services in African countries.
  • Consumer complaint handling and redress in African digital markets
  • Fintech and digital divide for low-income, minorities, unbanked, and other vulnerable groups 

Contactless payments and the payment divide

Recent funding: Facebook

Prior Professional Positions

Organization Title Years of Service
University of Georgia Assistant/Associate Professor 2010-present
Virginia Tech Assistant Professor 2006-10

Awards

Award Name Awarded By Year Awarded
Faculty Seed Grant in the Sciences Office of Research, UGA 2020
Global Research Collaboration Grant Office of Research, Office of Global Engagement, UGA 2019
Undergraduate Academic Advisor Award College of Family and Consumer Sciences, UGA 2015
Sarah H. Moss Fellowship - Cameroon Center for Teaching and Learning, UGA 2014
Sarah H. Moss Fellowship - Zimbabwe Center for Teaching and Learning, UGA 2012
Dissertation Award Western Family Economics Association, USA 2007

Editorial Appointments

Position Name of Journal Year(s)
Associate Editor Family and Consumer Sciences Research Journal 2018-20

Service

Organization Title Year(s) Service Type
Georgia Association of Family & Consumer Sciences Board member 2020-21 Student Unit Advisor
American Association of Family and Consumer Sciences Awards Chair 2019-21 Family Economics & Resource Management community
Georgia Association of Family & Consumer Sciences Board member 2015-17 Resource Development
American Council on Consumer Interests Board member 2015-17 Membership and Marketing

Outreach

Public Storage launches contactless move-ins for peace of mind

Mobile financial apps won't do the work for you

Contactless payments surge during COVID-19

Techxplore

Fintech and Financial Inclusion (Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta)

UGA Focus on Faculty

Current Research

  • Science & Technology Policy Fellow: Digital Ecosystem Advisor on DECAs with the United States Agency for International Development
  • Pan-African Research Council
  • Randomized evaluation of increasing the number of female mobile money agents in rural Ghana. Expected outcomes include increased overall agency for women personally, in shared households, and in their communities, increased consumer agency, and a decrease in fraud which has been found to be highest among female agent to female customer interactions. 
  • I also lead two projects that study the accelerated adoption of contactless payments during the pandemic:
    • our multidisciplinary team surveys U.S. consumers and small business owners and also incorporates discrete payment choice experiments with both groups. The purpose is to detect digital and payment divides, attitudes, and linkages with localized factors such as payment infrastructure, COVID-19 infection rates, and reopening guidelines. Developments with federally-approved COVID-19 drug treatments or vaccine as well as with two pending bills, the Payment Choice Act and the Touchless Transactions Act, are also considered.
    • The other project is an intervention with small businesses in the state of Georgia. This is a randomized evaluation that examines effects of offering rewards and tailored information on new adoptions or expansions of remote or in-store contactless payment systems. The two payment bills are also implemented hypothetically and evaluated. The study oversamples ethnic minority owners and those in lower-income or rural locations.

Job Description

UGA Leave of absence - September 2021-22

Publications

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