Case Study

Behavioural Applications to Digital Finance

Insights for FSPs looking to better understand their customers’ financial behavior
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This research sought to understand the linkage between behavioral insights and financial decision-making, particularly regarding savings on mobile wallets. Conducted over two phases, the research establishes a baseline of biases and key factors that influence decision-making around savings by low-income Tanzanians. It then digs deeper into these biases to understand how solutions derived from behavioral economics can be used to nudge people into healthy financial behaviors. The proof points generated via the experiments conducted in this project are insightful for financial sector providers looking to deepen their relationships with customers.

The key takeaways from this work include:

  • Dominant trends impacting financial decision-making: Mental Accounting, Trust and Risk, Agency, and Social Influences were the four strong themes that determined how and where low-income Tanzanians saved;
  • Socially influenced messaging strongly influenced higher wallet balances, while messaging related to agency resulted in lower balances when compared to no messaging at all;
  • Experiments found that while multiple product features engaged participants, the greater the number of features, the higher the cognitive overload, resulting in customer disengagement over time.

The study was conducted by Busara Center for Behavioral Economics for CGAP in partnership with the World Bank’s Global Insights Initiative (GINI) and Financial Sector Deepening Tanzania (FSDT).


This work was funded in whole or in part by CGAP. Unlike CGAP's official publications, it has not been peer reviewed or edited by CGAP, and any conclusions or viewpoints expressed are those of the authors, and they may or may not reflect the views of CGAP staff.

About this Publication

By Busara Center for Behavioral Economics