Youth and Financial Services Working Group
The MasterCard Foundation
The MasterCard Foundation advances microfinance and youth learning to promote financial inclusion and prosperity. Through collaboration with committed partners in 48 countries, The MasterCard Foundation is helping people living in poverty to access opportunities to learn and prosper. An independent, private foundation based in Toronto, Canada, it was established through the generosity of MasterCard Worldwide at the time of the company’s initial public offering in 2006.
Understanding Youth and their Financial Needs
In late 2012, the Youth and Financial Services Working group at SEEP published “Understanding Youth and Their Financial Needs”, a tool for practitioners engaged in youth financial services. Drawing from the experience of youth-related programs in 20 countries, this publication provides deep insight into the financial decision-making behaviors of youth (e.g., spending, saving, and borrowing) at three different levels—the individual, the client segment and the institutional levels—and shows how these behaviors can inform the design of financial and educational support services.
We are excited to announce a webinar series featuring presentations and discussions with the teams that shared their market research findings with the group. This webinar series provides an opportunity to review and update the guidance provided in the publication. By revisiting the market research studies, we propose to examine the original assumptions as well as identify additional learnings, both from the projects that were originally included, as well as newer projects. The discussions from the webinars will feed into a revised virtual tool that provides a comprehensive knowledge base for understanding youth financial needs, and will inform improved program and product design.
Stay tuned for the next webinar!
Banking on Girls: From Piggy Banks to Savings Accounts
The first installment in this webinar series focused on using market research to develop appropriate savings programs for girls. Women's World Banking has a long history of developing girls’ savings programs with XacBank in Mongolia, Banco ADOPEM in the Dominican Republic, PEACE MFI S.CO in Ethiopia (as part of YouthStart), and now with SEWA Bank in India and Diamond Bank in Nigeria.
Speaker Ryan Newton shared Women's World Banking’s experience with translating market research into usable savings programs, especially in her work in India and Ethiopia. With a focus on program design, marketing, and financial education, she discussed what worked well, what surprised them, and what they would change in the future.
Expanding Youth Financial Services: Differentiated Products or Differentiated Marketing?
Providing young people with financial services in tandem with complementary non-financial services (such as financial education and skills training) comes with well-documented benefits. More financial services providers (FSPs) are now focusing on including this largely untapped client segment. This raises several central questions. Most prominent among them is whether an FSP needs to create an entirely new product to meet the needs of youth, or if it can simply tweak existing products but market them specifically for youth.
The webinar will explore this question, based on the experiences of the YouthStart program. Panelists shared insight into how market research informs decisions to expand financial services to youth, as well as other conditions necessary to ensure the services can be scaled up, and their experiences in designing and rolling out these products.
Designing Loans for Youth: Lessons Learned from Market Research to Pilot
According to the World Bank, the MENA region suffers from one of the highest rates of financial exclusion in the world. The situation in Morocco, where only 4.3% of adults have received a loan from a financial institution in 2012, is particularly dire. Youth are disproportionally affected by obstacles to finance. Thus, only a minority of them are able to access credit in order to create or develop their business, support their families and ensure a better future for themselves and their loved ones.
Over a six-year project, supported by MasterCard Foundation, MEDA designed and developed an approach to address this gap and to lead to youth financial inclusion. Working with three leading Moroccan microfinance institutions, MEDA and partners began the product development journey from market research to pilot. This webinar presented the results from market research to the design of prototypes of three credit products with a closing reflection on lessons MEDA would like to share with other practitioners in the field of financial inclusion.
Stronger Interventions Through Evidence: Population Council's Work with Adolescent Girls
The Population Council develops and implements evidence-based economic strengthening programming for adolescent girls in Sub Saharan Africa, the Middle East, Latin America and Asia. The Council's model is an iterative process combining research and programming. The growing evidence base from active programming drives the next round of interventions. This webinar focused on how the Council's research and interventions support each other, and how they have shaped the organization's direction and current research questions.
In this installment, Karen Austrian, Sajeda Amin, and Sarah Engebretsen shared their work in developing, implementing, and evaluating evidence-based programs for marginalized adolescent girls.