Building Empowered Customers
CGAP is currently working with partners to research and further develop the concept of customer empowerment. Our hypothesis is that a more dynamic customer-provider relationship that is based on trust and builds customer confidence will contribute to reducing the problem of inactivity and benefit both the customer and the provider. The ultimate goal is to enable customer empowerment so that customers are able to make informed choices and use formal and digital financial services that meet their needs and goals.
In Côte d’Ivoire, societal values and personal relationships have a high degree of influence over how people choose financial service providers.
In a context where many low-income customers are unable to access financial services, CGAP is interested in learning more about what drives customers to become more empowered.
The behavior and practices of "oral communities" - where most people are illiterate - may help to explain both the scale of account dormancy in mobile money and the prevalence of over-the-counter (OTC) mobile money services.
Digital services that are able to replicate what poor people already do informally, in everyday life, may be critical to starting new customers on a path to using money in new ways.
A new CGAP Brief reflects on the concept of customer empowerment and its role in increasing uptake and use of digital financial services.