From Insights to Action: Building Client Trust and Confidence in Branchless Banking
This paper identifies the barriers that inhibit clients use of new technologies by drawing on the experience of Microfinance Opportunities Consumer Education for Branchless Banking in India, the Philippines, and Zambia. It explores how consumer education can effectively address this issue and presents the results of experiments with two innovations. The first is the broadening of financial education content beyond basic money management to encompass trust and confidence in e-money services. The second is the development of a strategy for educational messaging that is embedded in service delivery. Key findings include:
- Client-centric approach is gaining traction. To build financial capabilities of microfinance clients, focus is to be directed on solutions that address the problems, by facilitating access to the customer, and assisting by providing information and education all along the purchase cycle.
- Branchless banking can work for the poor, but low levels of usage in many deployments are a concern;
- Leapfrogging into digital financial services is risky for the uninformed and requires more than a one-off exposure to the mechanics of transacting;
- Building trust and confidence is a learned behaviour that takes time and if systematically addressed, can be achieved.