Commitment Savings in the Philippines

Adapted Products series: Services that meet the need of the Poor
Our Poverty-focused Microfinance Community of Practice (PovCoP) will be exploring adapted products over the coming months in a series of posts, group discussions, and interviews. We’ll start with a few case studies and learn what made each project a success. Please help broaden our understanding by sharing your own experiences with the community as well.  For more information on adapting microfinance products globally, take a look at CGAPs recently released Better Insights for Better Products.

Commitment Savings in the Philippines
From 2000-2003, the Green Bank of Caraga and researchers from Innovations for Poverty Action worked to design and implement a commitment savings product called a SEED account (Save, Earn, Enjoy Deposits) for borrowers in the Philippines.  This product was different than traditional savings products due to a commitment on the part of customers to restrict access to their savings account.  The SEED savings account offered no other benefits, and yielded the same interest rate as that from a normal savings account.

Born as a collaborative effort between practitioner and researchers, the SEED Savings field experiment yielded quite positive results as far as product adoption, household empowerment for women, and self-perception of savings behavior.  Here are some resources on the findings of this work:

Grameen Bank and CARD Bank in the Philippines also worked together on a Microsavings Initiative.  You can read more about the preliminary results of this initiative in this CGAP article.  This initiative was set to wrap-up at the end of 2012 and we hope to see more detailed results coming forward soon.

What kinds of savings products are offered in your area?
What can the SEED Savings project show us about the savings needs of the poor?
Would the commitment savings model effectively meet the needs of your country’s poor?

Leave your thoughts in the comments section below

Have suggestions for this Adapted Products series?  Send them to Leah Verghese at MeasureLearnChange[@]gmail.com

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