Designing savings products to promote financial inclusion among youth
This case study highlights the lessons learned from a World Savings and Retail Banking Institute (WSBI) program named “Working with savings banks in order to double the number of savings accounts in the hands of the poor.” It is based on both qualitative and quantitative research conducted by the WSBI in partnership with Kenya Post Office Savings Bank (KPOSB) in Nakuru and Gilgil in 2014. The study evaluates why 75% of the current 80,000 youth savings accounts, also known as smata accounts, held by KPOSB are inactive or dormant. The qualitative aspect of the study focuses on how usability of the smata youth savings may be increased. The study also provides recommendations for financial institutions and organizations aiming to increase financial inclusion among youth and young adults. Key recommendations include:
Engage in a diary study to indicate how the finances move in households and between members, and the role of youth and young adults in financial management and decision-making within the household;
Encourage family group accounts for family-based and user-friendly financial inclusion;
Develop mobile-enabled solutions for easy and efficient transfer of household finances between members.