From Accion: Customer Needs Should Drive Design and Evolution of Financial Services
Customization of products and services took center stage at European Microfinance Week 2017
A refugee settling in a new land, a family buying a home, a farmer nurturing her crops — every person has different financial needs — and loans, savings, and payment services should help them solve the challenges in their everyday lives. This year, European Microfinance Week focused on the heart of inclusive finance — understanding and interpreting customer needs. I joined hundreds of attendees from dozens of countries in Luxembourg for the three-day event, and took advantage of the opportunity to attend a wide selection of talks and panels on topics from financial inclusion for refugees, to managing political risk in developing economies, to bringing financial services to farmers.
Financial services providers often make decisions to use a specific technology or product feature, without sufficiently verifying whether it is suitable for its target customers. To pursue financial inclusion, the products and services we design must align with the specific dynamics of the target market they are intended for. Loan services for rural crop farmers, for example, are only useful when repayment terms are specific to growth and output cycles.
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