Guide / Toolkit

Customer Empowerment in Finance: Why Greater Choice and Control for Poor Customers is Better for Business and Will Help Achieve Financial Inclusion

Guide for designing actions to give low-income customers choice, respect, voice, and control

Low-income customers around the world have greater access to formal financial services than ever before. This can be attributed, in part, to advances in digital finance and efforts by governments to increase account ownership. Despite this growing access to formal finance, low-income customers don’t feel empowered to engage. To enable customer empowerment, businesses must see their customers as active players and build products that increase customer confidence and trust in the business. This in turn has the potential to increase value for businesses and for customers, and move the needle on financial inclusion.

This Customer Empowerment Guide can be used for either end-to-end projects or specific aspects, such as user research or design strategies, or projects. The guide outlines the following main takeaways:

  • Understand how core concepts of customer empowerment, such as choice, voice, respect, and control, offer better value for your business and for your customers.
  • Whatever your budget or timetable, uncover areas of disempowerment felt by customers or found in the customer experience.
  • Choose solutions to your empowerment challenges, then design and run small-scale prototypes that improve different aspects of customer empowerment.
  • Understand how organizational structure, incentives, and communications can help institutionalize a customer empowerment culture in your organization.
  • Measure the success of customer empowerment endeavors and Outcomes of Customer Empowerment decide which to move forward at scale—with or without modifications.

About this Publication

By Koning, A. & Murthy, G.