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WSBI Doubling Savings Accounts Programme - The Journey 2008 - 2016

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​WSBI Doubling Savings Accounts Program 

The Journey 2008-2016​


The challenge​

​More than two billion adults do not have a bank a​​​ccount or use other formal financial services. This is not only because of the challenges of living in poverty, but also due to barriers such as cost and travel distance.

Access to formal financial services can help people to protect their earnings, weather personal financial crises, send and receive payments, and better manage their farms and small businesses. 

Objectives of WSBI Doubling Savings Account Program

The WSBI Doubling Savings Account Programme aimed to double the number of savings acounts among poor people at 10 WSBI member banks in Africa, Asia, and Latin America. The program helped these retail and postal banks to:

  • implement the technological changes needed to support new agent networks 

  • implement international best practice on managing agency network risk

  • re-engineer business processes and IT systems to improve service levels

  • make existing deposit and payments services more useful for the poor

  • develop new low-cost savings products for the poor

  • develop and implement a communications strategy to support network expansion

  • offer proximity mapping for geo-locating community centres and agents

  • advise on pricing strategy and longer-term business planning

  • support "linkage banking" through existing social networks, such as village savings and loan associations (VSLAs), village community banks (VICOBAs), and local women’s groups

  • enter partnerships with mobile network operators and microfinance institutions

  • use data analytics to assess and improve customer take-up and activity, and develop behavioural and propensity models

  • ​adopt participatory co-creation approaches to better understand customer needs.

Program details

ProjectDoubling Savings Accounts
GoalTo encourage active use and take-up of savings accounts with WSBI member banks among poor people

Support WSBI members with technical assistance and capital equipment.

Provide sub-grants to WSBI member banks.

Active inBurkina Faso, El Salvador, Ghana, Indonesia, Kenya, Lesotho, Morocco,  South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, Vietnam, Sri Lanka

Kenya Post Office Savings Bank, Lesotho Postbank, Postbank Uganda, Al Barid Bank, BTN, SONAPOST, Fedecrédito, South Africa Postbank, Tanzania Postal Bank, Lien Viet Post Bank, HFC Bank, BSN Sri Lanka

Programme cost

$20 million

The program was supported with funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation 


Ian Radcliffe, Programme Director,

Weselina Angelow, Programme Manager,

 The programme was active in:

Map (Double Savings Programme).png 



​​>> The journey continues: Scale2Save in Africa​