BRUSSELS, 3 September 2019 – WSBI and FINCA International signed recently a memorandum of understanding to research the savings product needs of low-income clients across Uganda. The collaboration will explore the drivers that promote and hinder savings account usage, a critical measure of impactful financial inclusion.
Working with FINCA Uganda, another Scale2Save project partner, a research team—comprising FINCA International staff and an external academic advisor—will implement a randomized control trial (RCT) to assess the impact of product features on the usage of savings accounts by FINCA clients. The treatments will be devised by FINCA Uganda following a human-centred design approach, in close coordination with FINCA International’s research team. Their testing will follow an experimental approach, allowing for meaningful comparison of outcomes between treatment and control groups, and attribution of different outcomes to the treatments. A baseline study report will be submitted to Scale2Save programme organisers in June 2020. The research will conclude with a final report in September 2021.
FINCA International’s Director of Customer Research and Field Data Services, Scott Graham, said: “This partnership will enable us to understand some of the most important barriers to savings account usage. By fully grasping, for example, how financial education drives savings mobilisation, financial service providers can better adapt products and messaging to client needs and improve financial inclusion outcomes, especially among youth.”
This is the second project undertaken by Scale2Save and partners on-the-ground in the East African country. WSBI announced in late July that FINCA Uganda had joined the Scale2Save programme. Outlined in a separate memorandum of understanding with global savings and retail banking association, FINCA Uganda will leverage breakthrough technologies to build a new business model geared towards sustainable savings mobilisation. Digital innovations such as the development of relevant and responsible mobile-based products delivered via a smartphone, agent or handset, as well as digital field automation (DFA) and data analytics form the backbone of this model. The aim is to build out more appropriate savings products accessible on mobile and digitally enabled financial literacy modules deployed over the devices.
WSBI Managing Director Chris De Noose said: “The research matters because understanding the needs of people on the ground remains a challenge. Our recent research on savings and retail banking in Africa concluded as much. To tackle the customer centricity challenge, the research will dig deeper into what makes savings products easier to use, afford and access while keeping banks sustainable businesses that serve people regardless of situation.”
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About FINCA International
FINCA International was founded in 1984 on a radical notion: giving small loans to the poor has the power to transform entire communities in a sustainable way. After impacting tens of millions of lives with responsible financial services, we are widening our focus to catalyze further economic growth and alleviate poverty in underserved markets around the world. We remain boldly committed to market-based solutions, and are supporting the rise of social enterprises delivering basic service and financial innovation to help low-income families and communities achieve a better standard of living. For more information, visit www.FINCA.org or follow us on Twitter @FINCA.
The World Savings and Retail Banking Institute (WSBI), founded in 1924, represents the interests of 6,000 savings and retail banks globally, with total assets of $15 trillion and serving some 1.3 billion customers in nearly 80 countries. The Institute focuses on international regulatory issues that affect the savings and retail banking industry. It supports the achievement of sustainable, inclusive, balanced growth and job creation, whether in industrialised or less developed countries.
Scale2Save is a partnership between WSBI and Mastercard Foundation to establish the viability of small-scale savings in six African countries. The six-year programme aims for 1 million more people banked in those countries through projects using innovative models.
Originally posted on WSBI.