Savings as a Cornerstone: Laying the Foundation for Financial Inclusion

  • Date Posted: April 2, 2013
  • Authors: Josh Martin, David Myhre, Nisha Singh
  • Organizations/Projects: SEEP
  • Document Types: Evidence or Research, Evidence or Research, Evidence or Research
  • Donor Type: Foundation

Examining the state of practice in savings mobilization for the poor in developing countries, this report documents practical approaches to mobilizing poor people’s savings. It focuses on innovations that new savings providers can utilize to overcome key challenges. The report addresses challenges at the client and institutional levels. It outlines areas of intervention that hold strategic importance for practitioners.

The report aims to provide knowledge to savings practitioners working with poor people, which these practitioners can use to dialog with the broader financial services sector. Key points include:

  • Wide-scale savings mobilization is fundamental to building inclusive financial systems;
  • Savings products have intrinsic value for consumers, institutions, and policymakers;
  • Practitioners must establish the institutional framework, and then identify product characteristics, benefits, and downsides;
  • Savings products have to be tailored to local needs and preferences;
  • More research would contribute to accelerating the capacity of practitioners to meet the growing demand for savings products by the poor;
  • Practitioners need learning opportunities to use research findings to adapt savings products and engage regulators, funders, and investors; and
  • Platforms such as member-led industry associations would foster collaboration and speed dissemination of innovations.

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