Customer Segmentation Toolkit

26 September 2016

Financial service providers have traditionally categorized low-income customers into a single market segment. But many organizations are beginning to see expanded business potential as they learn that low-income markets are far from just a single segment. People’s worries, wants, needs, and behaviors are nuanced, and customer segmentation is the method that explores and identifies opportunities in these differences.

The CGAP Customer Segmentation Toolkit has been developed to help financial service providers identify subsets of customers that have common needs, interests, and priorities – then design and implement strategies targeted toward them.

The toolkit provides practical guidance on how to use segmentation to better serve customer needs and improve overall customer experience. It helps practitioners scope a segmentation, determine roles and functions required, work with timelines, and plan and implement budgets.

The toolkit offers learning opportunities through four main areas:

  • Case Studies: Evidence of the value of segmentation from organizations that have invested in this approach.
  • Experiments: Practical exercises to help financial service providers get closer to customers and add segmentation as a core competency.
  • References: Curated research and reference materials to build internal knowledge and help increase the impact of customer segmentation within an organization.
  • Tools: Robust project planning tools, key frameworks, and design method to help organizations integrate and manage customer segmentation initiatives.

The growth in the number of financial service providers that offer services to low-income customers shows that this opportunity is real. Ultimately, segmentation unlocks opportunities for innovation that offer value to both customers and providers.


Interactive documents that accompany the Customer Segmentation Toolkit:

  1. Cost Estimate Worksheet (Excel)

  2. Potential of the Unbanked Customers in Your Market (Excel)

  3. Segmentation Worksheet (pdf)