Paper

A Change in Behavior: Innovations in Financial Capability

Lessons from a wide range of innovative interventions on financial education

This report reviews the current landscape of financial capability interventions – a diverse landscape, with interventions by financial service providers, online services, social organizations, governments and others. The report highlights a trend still in its early stages that ties financial capability interventions more closely to actual customer behavior, especially at critical decision-making moments, and particularly when signing up for and using financial products. This trend also takes into account insights about how people learn and the kinds of support they need to achieve their goals. Expanding this behaviorally-informed approach, which is already occurring to varying degrees, will require creativity beyond the traditional modes of financial education that dominate the scene, and it will require greater involvement by providers, who are uniquely placed to meet clients at those critical decision moments.

The findings in this report speak to three main audiences: financial service providers, who have an opportunity to lead these efforts and who are assured that interventions can be compatible with their business models; governments, who are advised to support a greater role for providers and to take creative advantage of their own touch-points with consumers; and actors in the social sector, who are encouraged to incorporate the practices described here into their work. The report is divided into the following chapters:

  1. The Changing Landscape of Financial Capability Building
  2. A Scan of the Field – Finding Innovations that Work
  3. Six Recommendations for Change