CGAP and IDEO.org Collaborate to Re-bank Low-Income Mexicans and Bring a Savings Product to Market
WASHINGTON, Nov. 14, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- 22 million households in Mexico are middle and low income. Only half of them have a bank account. So CGAP brought in IDEO.org, the non-profit arm of the California design firm known for pioneering human-centered design to work with Bancomer, one of Mexico's largest banks, to come up with a product that would open the market to low-income savers.
Building on earlier CGAP research into the low income market in Mexico (watch the video or read the blog post), CGAP and IDEO conducted in-depth interviews to better understand how poor Mexicans manage their money. The research showed that many in this segment preferred informal to formal savings mechanisms. Distrust of banks was often at the root of the issue. The CGAP/IDEO team learned that for any formal product to be successful in the market and sustainable for the bank, it would need to build on the informal tools Mexicans were already using to offer something better.
Bancarizacion, a new video produced by CGAP, documents the process of developing two new savings products and the main challenges the team encountered: getting the concepts to market and convincing a big bank to adjust its thinking and approach to developing products that can serve the needs of poor and low income clients.
"It is actually the process of pushing a bank to experiment and understand better the segments it wishes to serve," says Xavier Faz of CGAP. "Along the way, learning is generated for the whole market.
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