Mobile Phone Data as the Key to Promoting Financial Inclusion

Using call data to tap low-income customer base through mobile phones
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This paper explores the feasibility of using call detail records (CDRs) and related data to develop and refine new customer segmentation models. It provides the results of a partnering with two companies working in Ghana: HFC Bank and Airtel Ghana. On the basis of data discovery, model design, and analysis performed, the paper presents the following conclusions:

  • Proportion of funds that mobile subscribers with the lowest incomes devote to mobile services challenges the myth that these individuals are not interested in financial services. It opens up an opportunity for financial institutions to use the mobile channel to market low-cost savings products;
  • Analyzing mobile usage behavior will provide valuable insights into the types of products most likely to appeal to  different customers;
  • Because each score group has different assumed income characteristics and propensities to use particular financial services, optimizing financial inclusion will require a variety of marketing messages, channels, pricing,  and promotions, rather than the current one-size-fits-all approach;
  • Correlating financial services behavior and mobile usage sets up a data management cycle that is virtuous in nature: customers take advantage of new products in the market, and additional data sets will provide a deeper understanding of customers and their interest in and usage of financial products.

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By Cignifi