Remote Coaching to Prevent Dormancy Among Low-Income Savers

One of the challenges of providing savings services to the unbanked is that many new customers fail to use the account beyond the initial deposit, a problem known as dormancy. In this recent study from Uganda, a low-cost coaching intervention produced significantly higher levels of account activity and use of banking agents, with stronger effects on women. The pattern of account usage reflects the role that formal savings plays in helping customers satisfy short- and medium-term cash needs. In qualitative interviews, women explained that coaching fostered a greater sense of trust and relationship with the bank, and that it encouraged them to set aside even small sums as a form of protection against an uncertain future.

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By Scott Graham, Anahit Tevosyan, Nathaniel Mayende, Ester Agasha, Joeri Smits & Sally Yacoub