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Do mobile savings services exclude women? How do savings products affect liquidity? Learning from the Grameen Foundation in India and the Philippines

by on Mar 14, 2013  |  posted in Savings, Uncategorized  |  0 Comments
More than one-third of the world’s population lack access to financial services, including a savings account. Safe, reliable, and easily accessible savings services are essential to helping the poor out move out of poverty but are lacking in many parts of the world. In order to address this issue, SEEP member Grameen Foundation created the Microsavings Initiative, funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The initiative works in partnership with local financial institutions in the Philippines, India, and Ethiopia to build savings products that meet the unique needs of the poor, delivering the products through innovative channels that are sustainable for the client and the institutions that serve them. [1] Below are two recent case studies from the organization’s work with Cashpor Microcredit in India and CARD Bank in the Philippines. Women, Mobile Phones, and Savings: A Grameen Foundation Case Study This study examines Grameen Foundation’s savings project at Cashpor Microcredit, based in Varanasi, India. In this study, 65 clients were randomly selected for interviews based on three themes: how women use mobile phones; savings services; and how knowledge about the phone is shared among their community, particularly with children. The results have provided valuable insight into how women and their families are using mobile technology to access savings services as well as the gaps in usage. Julia Arnold, chief author of the study, summarizes some of the key points and findings in the video below. A full copy of the case study can be found here. A summary can be found here.   SEEP 2012: Julia Arnold from Grameen Foundation on Microsavings from SEEP Network on Vimeo.   Savings Volatility Analysis: CARD Bank This case study examines the savings volatility analysis done at CARD Bank in the Philippines. By systematically collecting savings balance information over a long time series and then analyzing the data, the bank was able to use the results to manage liquidity and inform pricing and product development.  Karla Brom, risk management consultant and author of the study, describes the importance of performing this kind of analysis, the process, and results in the video below. A full copy of the case study can be found here.  

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