Understanding account usage through a consumer lens

Understanding account usage through a consumer lens

November 15, 2016    

Over the past five years, the move towards digital financial services and simplified account opening procedures has improved the take-up of accounts by the low-income sector. The 2014 global Findex data highlighted that the number of people without access to formal accounts decreased from 2.5 billion in 2011 to 2 billion in 2014. Whilst recognised as a major achievement, it is clear amongst the global community that account ownership alone is not, in itself, the goal of financial inclusion.

Accounts need to add value to people’s lives to have any impact on poverty or prosperity. This can only be achieved if we understand what people value in accounts and what drives them to use them. Interventions to rectify low usage of accounts in the past have focused on the provider lens, and on improving the environment within which accounts are available and taken up. However, whilst the provider is an important factor, it is ultimately the consumers’ decision-making framework that determines whether they use their accounts or not.

This report explores what drives the usage of mobile money and bank accounts and, in looking through the consumer lens, it seeks to understand what the triggers, drivers and barriers to unlock usage are. This note includes recommendations for policymakers and providers on how to unlock usage to extend both client and firm value for sustainable inclusion.


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