The GAFIS Blog

A collection of our thoughts on the project, financial inclusion, savings for the poor, and the like...

Growth of “New Poor Savers” continues in 2014

As reported in the GAFIS Project Report (page 36), as of Q4:2013, the five GAFIS banks had collectively cultivated 420,000 “new poor savers” during the GAFIS program.  A “new poor saver” satisfies three specific criteria: (i) the account demonstrates “savings” activity; (ii) the account holder is “poor”, as measured by national standards; and (iii) theContinue Reading

Challenges to building customer understanding

We have just posted GAFIS Focus Note 5 on the Publications page of this website, please have a read! While the actual uptake and activity levels of the GAFIS-supported products were consistent with expectations, qualitative findings among the GAFIS banks illustrate that the delivery of innovative savings products to low-income clients creates risk of sub-optimalContinue Reading

Can elephants learn to dance?

October 6, 2014. By David Porteous. A 1990’s management book called Teaching Elephants to Dance offered hope that this feat was indeed possible. And the GAFIS session at last week’s SIBOS conference in Boston affirmed that the particular species of elephant known as large banks could also join the dance of financial inclusion. SIBOS isContinue Reading

New channels help big banks reach low-income customers

On October 2, GAFIS – namely, the four private sector GAFIS banks, along with Program Manager BFA – will be featured as The Big Issue Debate at SIBOS 2014.  Core GAFIS themes around scalability and sustainability of offering useful bank savings to low-income segments will be showcased and debated.  How can useful scale be attainedContinue Reading

Using Data and Diaries, Big Banks Study Small Savers

Can banks’ formal savings instruments beat the cow or the mattress? Poor people can and do save. They even save in banks. But, because banks have little understanding of the savings behavior of poor people, bank savings products often have a limited place in the portfolios of the poor. Using financial diaries ( along withContinue Reading