Scale2Save Campaign

Micro savings, maximum impact.

Research findings from Uganda

This research was conducted by Scott Graham, Anahit Tevosyan and Nathaniel Mayende at FINCA International, together with Ester Agasha from the Makerere University Business School, Dr. Joeri Smits and Sally Yacoub. We wish to thank FINCA International and FINCA Uganda for their support throughout this project, especially James Onyutta, Ciprian Panturu, Alice Lubwama, Scovia Swabrah and Justine Nabawanuka. We are also grateful to the Scale2Save team, in particular Weselina Angelow, Anton Simanowitz, and Apphia Ndungu for their many contributions to this work, and to our partner, the Mastercard Foundation, whose sponsorship made it possible

One of the challenges of providing savings services to the unbanked is that many new customers fail to use the account beyond the initial deposit, a problem known as dormancy.

In our study, a low-cost coaching intervention produced significantly higher levels of account activity and use of banking agents, with stronger effects on women. The pattern of account usage reflects the role that formal savings plays in helping customers satisfy short- and medium-term cash needs. In qualitative interviews, women explained that coaching fostered a greater sense of trust and relationship with the bank, and that it encouraged them to set aside even small sums as a form of protection against an uncertain future.