Understanding the financial needs of poor people

CGAP representative Xavier Faz has worked with low-income clients in Mexico for over 20 years. Take  a look at the video below to see some of the examples he found when looking at the financial needs of people living in poverty near Mexico City.

You can learn more about Faz’ approach in his paper A Structured Approach to Understanding the Financial Service Needs of the Poor in Mexico.


Others too are working diligently to understand the needs of poor people across the globe:

Microfinance Centre details MDF-Kamurj’s product development process to expand into rural areas of Armenia in this publication, Entering New Markets: How Market Research Can Inform Product Development.

Graham Wright of MicroSave discusses their finding when looking at the product needs of people living in poverty in Designing Innovative Products, Processes and Channels for the Promotion of Microfinance

CGAP’s work on Applied Product Innovation and customer-centric design offers examples on how slowing down the design process can help in understanding poor client needs, and the steps that can be taken to leverage institutional knowledge on poor client needs for product design.

The World Bank has also taken a broader approach to listening to the voices of people living in poverty in their Voices of the Poor initiative.

Do you have examples to share of attempts to
understand the needs of poor clients?

How can challenges of staff time and resources be minimized in
seeking to understand the needs of poor clients?

Leave your thoughts in the comments section below.

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