In this paper, we estimate the number of empty savings accounts at MFIs and banks in Bolivia, Nicaragua, and Pakistan, as well as in cooperatives among a mix of countries worldwide. We find that 50-75% of savings accounts are empty, while balances of non-empty accounts are at least double the average reported size. Rather than reaching a broad base of traditional microfinance clients, many MFIs are reaching a substantially smaller number of families in the lower middle class and above.

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Microfinance and Savings Outreach: What are we measuring?

Measuring Savings Outreach

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