Neither a Borrower Nor a Lender Be...
An e-MFP/FIF UK Webinar on ‘Encouraging Effective & Inclusive Savings’ held 12 January 2021.
The Financial Inclusion Forum UK (FIF UK) and the European Microfinance Platform (e-MFP) jointly hosted an open-to-all expert discussion on the state-of-the-art in savings behaviour and what different financial services providers are doing to innovate in the design and delivery of savings to low-income households and businesses.
For the last several years, e-MFP and the Financial Inclusion Forum UK hold an annual joint event which delves into the topic of the most recent European Microfinance Award (EMA), jointly organised by the European Microfinance Platform (e-MFP), the Luxembourg Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs, and the Inclusive Finance Network Luxembourg (InFiNe.lu).In 2020, the topic of the EMA was “Encouraging Effective & Inclusive Savings” and it received a record field of applications from financial service providers across the world who are innovating in how to design and deliver savings products suited to clients’ real needs – and how to encourage low-income groups to usefully save.
Savings is a broad, complex and vibrant area of the financial inclusion sector, with rich new learnings about what works (and when – and why) that are summarised in e-MFP’s recent paper on the topic together with the factors for success from the EMA2020. But as the consequences of Covid-19 become clearer, one thing that has stood out from the Award process is that understanding clients’ savings motivation and, from that, providing them with access to inclusive savings – for consumption smoothing, long-term planning and, especially now, strengthening household resilience to sudden shocks – is more critical than ever.
For this discussion, we were delighted to welcome:
- Laura Litvine, who is Principal Advisor and head of the French office of the Behavioural Insights Team;
- Govinda Bahadur Raut, who is Head of Micro and Small Banking at Muktinath Bikas Bank in Nepal – winner of the European Microfinance Award 2020 for its adapted solidarity group savings model;
- Janet Hayes, who is project lead of Savings at the Frontier, an initiative of Oxford Policy Management and Mastercard Foundation; and
- Abed Darko, who is CEO of DSS Platform Ltd, a fintech in Ghana serving susu enterprises which is partner organisation of the Savings at the Frontier initiative.
The session was led by Sam Mendelson, who is a Board Member of FIF UK and Financial Inclusion Specialist at e-MFP, part of the core EMA design and evaluation team and lead author of Encouraging Effective and Inclusive Savings.