Insights into Actions: What Human-Centered Design Means for Financial Inclusion

Explaining an innovative approach to learn directly from customers

This paper discusses the insights gained and the lessons learned from CGAP’s seven human-centered design (HCD) projects in eight countries. For these projects, CGAP brought leading design firms to work with banks, telcos, and insurance intermediaries and developed 175 concepts for financial products or services and 30 prototypes. The paper identifies HCD as a process built on learning directly from customers in their own environments. It claims that using the HCD method challenges financial providers to understand, create, evolve, and test possible solutions and repeat the cycle as required, hence leading to more efficient products. The paper covers the following sections in detail:

  • Introduction to HCD with a focus on how to identify whether the approach is suitable for an organization;
  • Ten key financial inclusion lessons from CGAP’s HCD projects;
  • Nine design principles appropriate for HCD projects;
  • Detailed discussion about CGAP’s HCD projects;
  • Tools and suggestions for putting HCD into practice;
  • CGAP’s recommendations.

About this Publication

By Seltzer, Y. , McKay, C.