Over the past seven years, the Centre for Microfinance (CMF) has conducted and implemented several impact evaluation studies, mostly using randomized controlled trials. A new series of factsheets by CMF compiles results from several rigorous studies in a given field (including studies by CMF and several conducted by external researchers), as well as providing context for recent and upcoming policy initiatives pertaining to the same.
The first factsheet of this series discusses recent impact and marketing experiments on Microsavings, and also examines some of the policy issues surrounding this subject. Please mention if there are other relevant studies I may have missed out while compiling this factsheet.
One of the major takeaways from this factsheet is that a culture of using formal savings products among the poor continues to remain uncommon, due to both supply-side and demand-side constraints. Several experiments continue to take place around different parts of the world, which are playing around with new ways to improve the access to formal savings and highlight its benefits. Enabling the opening of a savings account is surely a step in the positive direction, but there is a long road to travel in terms of product design of formal savings in the developing world.