Savings, especially for low-income segments of the population, have been the Achilles heel of financial inclusion. The key challenge for Shakti Foundation for Disadvantaged Women, a microfinance institution in Bangladesh, was to offer savings products sustainably and at scale.

This case study charts the journey of Shakti’s women clients toward the adoption of voluntary savings products that ride on digital channels. It highlights the needs and aspirations of women customers and the behavioral biases and influences that determine the adoption of the savings product. Based on the identified behaviors, the case study also lists a set of design principles to develop a digitally-enabled savings product for low-income customer segments.

The case study was developed as part of the Digital Microfinance Project funded by the MetLife Foundation. The project supports select microfinance institutions in Bangladesh to provide digital financial services, especially for savings, to their customers.

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