Taking Human-Centered Design from Theory to Practice: UGAFODE’S AirSave Considerations for Financial Service Providers
This case study explores the challenges and opportunities of introducing an agent-based mobile savings product to mobilize savings for rural, low-income women in Uganda, as well as the use of human-centered design (HCD) in product development.
Using human-centered design research, the UGAFODE team identified that there was high demand from rural Ugandans for a safe place to store money, especially cash kept in savings group lock boxes, as well as an opportunity to build a relationship with a banking institution to access other services, like credit. Customers also expressed a need for greater accessibility, since many live far away from physical bank branches. Thus, two new product concepts were born: GroupSave, a savings product for registered savings groups, providing a safe place to store group savings, and AirSave, a new digital access channel, which would allow customers to leverage their existing GroupSave mobile money accounts to move money in and out of formal accounts at UGAFODE. This case focuses on the AirSave channel.