Uncovering Barriers to Branchless Banking: A Synthesis of Consumer Capability Research in India, Malawi, Philippines, and Zambia

Does digital literacy of low-income consumers translate into better money management practices?
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This synthesis report summarizes the findings from market research studies Microfinance Opportunities (MFO) carried out with customers of four branchless banking project partners:  FINO in India, RBAP-MABS in the Philippines, Zoona in Zambia and Opportunity Bank Malawi in Malawi. The research findings shed light on digital literacy of low-income consumers in developing countries. The research was further used to design the content and to identify the optimal delivery channels for partner-level consumer education campaigns.

The studies assessed target consumers' existing attitudes, knowledge, skills, self-efficacy and behaviors with respect to managing their money and carrying out financial transactions using branchless banking. The research aimed at answering the following questions:

  • What knowledge, skills, and attitudes do potential consumers need in order to make informed decisions on adopting and effectively carrying out financial transactions using branchless banking services and technologies?
  • How could consumer education, combined with branchless banking, help low-income consumers improve their money management and facilitate their active use of financial services?

About this Publication

By Jaramillo, M., Lee, J, , McGuinness, E.