Over the course of a five month study, WSBI and Cignifi analyzed the savings and mobile phone usage habits of individual consumers in Ghana — a country where nearly one hundred percent of the adult population uses mobile phones, but only sixteen percent of those over fifteen years old save money at a financial institution. WSBI partnered with its member in Ghana, HFC bank, a retail bank and the country's leading mortgage provider, and telecommunications company Airtel Ghana, a subsidiary of Bharti Airtel Limited, to gather data for the analysis. The modelling of a large number of mobile phone usage attributes showed clear correlations between mobile phone habits and savings behaviour. This points to the potential value of mobile behaviour as a way to identify potential users of savings products.
Analysis of transaction history and savings behaviour of 180,000 HFC customers over a five-month period revealed distinct customer segments. Customers in two of these segments appeared to be prime targets for increased financial inclusion, with relatively high level of engagement (demonstrating the importance of financial services in their lives) but low average savings balance. These HFC customer types were then matched with mobile phone usage data to identify the specific mobile behavior that characterized the target customers.
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