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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

129 Stuckey Building UGA Griffin Campus
1109 Experiment Street

Griffin, GA 30223




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


  • 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

Prior Professional Positions

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


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


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


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


Fintech and Financial Inclusion (Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta)

UGA Focus on Faculty

Current Research

  • Science & Technology Policy Fellow: Digital Ecosystem Advisor at 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. 
  • Involved with two projects that study the accelerated adoption of contactless payments during the pandemic:
    • Our multidisciplinary team surveyed 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 identify any linkages with localized factors such as payment infrastructure, COVID-19 infection rates, and reopening guidelines.
    • The other project is an intervention with over 900 small businesses across the U.S. This is a randomized evaluation that examines the effect of offering payment systems education on new adoptions or expansions of remote or in-store contactless payment systems. Two bills that are still to be deliberated in Congress, the Payment Choice Act of (2019; 2020; 2021) and the Touchless Transactions Act of 2020, are also implemented, hypothetically, and their potential impact on merchant adoption is examined. In addition, the study incorporates the self-explicated method to assess merchant preferences for payment system attributes such as QR code reader, cash acceptance, and fee structure. The study oversamples businesses with no more than 25 employees and ethnic minority owners. Operational adjustments and COVID vaccination are also considered.

Job Description

UGA Leave of absence - September 2021-22


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