One of MSC’s key areas of focus and expertise is in the financial behavior of low-income people. We study the financial behavior of people in multiple countries and contexts. Notable among them is the work that revolutionized Equity Bank’s product suite, and the MetaMon Research undertaken in India and Bangladesh.

The MetaMon research identified and developed suitable metaphors to explain the money management practices of the low-income market segment, which in turn informed CGAP’s work on client-centricity. As part of the research, MSC captured the keywords and imagery that people use while thinking about financial services. We used human-centric design, participatory “life game” and customer journey approaches to map the interactions of poor clients with financial services, their financial decision-making, and money management practices.

The design firm collaborated with MSC to use our expertise in human-centric research, country context, and behavioral design. The engagement helped IDEO understand the current savings behavior of the poor in India and their user experiences of available payments banks and mobile money services. The research led to the development of eight design principles for financial institutions for designing inclusive digital savings products. The output of the report can be accessed here. (ADD LINK)

At the time of writing, MSC was working on behavior-centric research in Senegal to understand the pathways to adoption, usage, and impact of digital financial services (DFS) among different segments, especially the low-income, rural, and female segments. The study will understand the impact of DFS usage on financial security and well-being in an emerging DFS market in West Africa.