LeapFrog Investments convened stakeholders to explore how measurements and insights drive customer understanding, financial performance, and greater scale in financial inclusion.

The biggest gaps to achieving financial inclusion in the country/industry in focus:

  • Understanding emerging consumers beyond the classification of “low income” and their individual needs.
  • Using that data to design better products that reach the financially excluded.
  • While data are of higher quality than ever before data could be better leveraged and consolidated to understand consumers.
  • There is a big difference between what a customer intends and what they actually do.  Transaction data is the ideal but will need to be supplemented for the unbanked.

Key action steps to advance financial inclusion:

Sam Duncan, LeapFrog: Collaborate on consolidating data on low income demand and cutting it to better understand customers and design strategies around their needs.

Leora Klapper, World Bank: Providers have an opportunity to leverage digitized payments to engage people who are just entering the formal financial system—from rural farmers who receive agriculture payments to parents who pay school fees through a mobile device.

Leora Klapper, World Bank: Providers can take advantage of the existing financial activity that people engage in. For example, when it comes to emergencies the number one source of emergency funds is savings. However, people are not saving at the rate we would expect given this answer.

Ashley Hirst, AIG: Segment customers in a given market to better understand what financial needs are based on demographic factors, and do this in a systematic way so that the methodology can be applied across markets.

Sarah Quilan, MasterCard Advisors: You don’t necessarily need data from a country to make insights about that country—you can take insights from transaction data in other countries, because there are some commonalities in human behavior.

Gerard Coetzee, CGAP: Instead of starting with products, providers should start with customer needs.

Rachel Pacheco, JPMorgan Institute: Providers can create space for analyzing the data they already have.

Quote(s) from the discussion:

"We have a responsibility when we look at data to use it responsibly—for a better purpose than taking advantage of customers at weak moments."

–Gerard Coetzee, CGAP

"Demand-side consumer data is critical to understand customer needs and design relevant products that scale. There is an incredible amount that we can learn from existing data and best practices around the world and by building partnerships with a diversity of institutions." 

–Sam Duncan, LeapFro