Designing Digital Financial Services for Smallholder Families: Lessons from Zimbabwe, Senegal, Rwanda, and Cambodia

DFS can offer strong value proposition to meet the nonagricultural financial needs of smallholders

Recognizing the need for Digital Financial Services (DFS) that better respond to smallholder demand, CGAP partnered in early 2015 with a financial service provider (FSP) in each of Zimbabwe, Senegal, Rwanda, and Cambodia to design a new generation of smallholder-specific digital financial products and services. Under the guidance and expertise of two human-centered design (HCD) firms, CGAP and its FSP partners worked to explore, create, evolve, and test possible digital solutions for smallholder families. 

This publication begins with a brief overview of the HCD methodology, before outlining a set of recommendations for FSPs to consider when developing new DFS offerings for smallholders. These recommendations, supported by field insights, are organized around four key design principles:
  • Design around Smallholder Needs and Aspirations;
  • Design to Drive Adoption;
  • Design for Continuous Engagement;
  • Design for Customer Growth.
Following the recommendations, this publication closes by identifying next steps in the design process, opportunities for further research, and potential challenges to bringing innovative DFS to market.

About this Publication

By Mattern, M. , Tarazi, M.