By Corrinne Ngurukie and Rani Deshpande, Save the Children
Measure twice, cut once
YouthSave’s bank partners began creating their youth savings accounts in 2010, with extensive market research that obtained firsthand information about the savings habits, needs, and preferences of young people. But using these data to design the savings accounts was not enough. The resulting product prototypes still had to be “road-tested” in order to confirm that we had correctly a) interpreted the market research, b) translated it into product designs that met youths’ needs, and c) put in place the right marketing, back-office and sales systems, policies, and delivery channels. In three countries – Ghana, Kenya and Nepal – YouthSave’s bank partners did this through time-bound pilots in a limited number of branches.
By Nicole Tosh, New America Foundation
Recently, Women’s World Banking (WWB) released an e-publication designed to guide banks, MFIs and other financial institutions through the process of researching, testing, piloting and implementing savings products for youth. Not only does the report provide a wealth of very practical knowledge on the topic, but it also has an interactive format that allows the user to access video interviews with key bank staff working on youth savings products, templates for budgets, action lists, and compilations of resources throughout.
By Rani Deshpande and Zebedee Mkala, Save the Children
On July 12 YouthSave partner Kenya Postbank officially launched its new “SMATA” youth account with festivities at the Ofafa Jericho high school in Nairobi. The event was presided over by Canada’s Deputy High Commissioner to Kenya, with close to 500 youth in attendance. Participating youth were treated to a comedy show and dance competition where the winners were awarded with T-shirts and had a SMATA account opened for them. In total, about 130 accounts were opened during the launch.
By Lissa Johnson and Julia Stevens, The Center for Social Development
Are YouthSave accounts attracting low-income youth? Are youth making deposits into their YouthSave accounts? Are there adjustments that would help youth to save more? These are questions we’re beginning to answer in YouthSave using data from the savings demand assessment in Ghana, Kenya, and Nepal.
The savings demand assessment, part of YouthSave’s multi-method research agenda, allows researchers to track youth and household demographics and account transactions over the life of the YouthSave project. The findings tell us something about who saves, how much they save, and what characteristics are associated with saving.