Applied Product Innovation in Branchless Banking
This series looks into the efforts of various providers to launch product labs that demonstrate new ways of understanding clients, testing ideas and designing breakthrough products.
Earlier this year CGAP, in partnership with Bancomer, commissioned IDEO.org, the non-profit arm of the California firm known for its human-centered design methodology, to create a savings product that would meet the needs of low income Mexicans.
Barring a few steadfast voices over the last two decades, the financial inclusion field as a whole has only started coming around to ‘client-centricity’ as compared to others in the development field or even commercial industries. Everyone seems to agree that the starting point is to understand clients better. But these discussions become about methods very quickly.
The AppLab Money Incubator in Uganda has studied and segmented the behaviors of rural low-income consumers to understand the opportunity for financial services product development.
Grameen Foundation, MTN and CGAP launched the AppLab Money Incubator a year ago, in part, to develop a human-centered design process that shows players with an appetite to go down-market that innovation can be cost-effective and impactful and can also lead to new areas of growth. This is the first part of a case study documenting our experience.
In September 2011, CGAP’s Technology team invited the Brazilian firm Plano CDE to develop a study that would help them understand the behaviour, needs and expectations of low-income Brazilians in relation to financial instruments. The goal of the study was to contribute to the development of a new financial product or service that would attend to the needs of lower-income consumers and enhance their relationship with financial institutions.