Savings at the Frontier: Evidence Mapping on Informal Savings Mechanisms

Demand and supply of financial services for savings groups in sub-Saharan Africa

Savings at the Frontier (SatF) is a five and a half year (2015-2021) partnership between The MasterCard Foundation and Oxford Policy Management to improve the financial inclusion of low-income individuals and communities in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). The program works directly with and funds selected financial service providers (FSPs) in its three focus countries – Ghana, Tanzania and Zambia.

This document maps the existing evidence on the demand for and supply of financial services for saving groups (SGs) in order to discover which services and channels are most valued by the financially disadvantaged and what drives the business case for providers. The overall objective of the exercise was to review the literature in this area in order to distill information for practitioners seeking to work in this market, and also to encourage researchers to address the gaps in evidence that have been identified. The review might also inform FSPs about avenues for extending their reach to a potential new market segment – low-income customers in peri-urban and rural areas.

Additional attachments are:

  • A briefing note summarizing the main findings of the review;
  • An evidence visualization showing the sources of evidence reviewed, by type of author and evidence. It provides an indication of the gaps in evidence that might be filled by future research.

About this Publication

By Resch, E.