On the occasion of the European Microfinance Week, UNCDF’s Making Access Possible (MAP) programme launched its Global Insights Notes Series and released the first note “Decoding the Customer: First impressions from a more granular approach to client typology.”
The MAP Global Insights series takes a closer look at some of the unique market characteristics and customer insights uncovered from the work undertaken in Lesotho, Swaziland, Malawi, Mozambique, Myanmar and Thailand.
“Markets are driven by people and our MAP programme seeks to connect to previously un and underserved segments of the population to facilitate market development, based on the needs of the people,” said Henri Dommel, Director of UNCDF’s Financial Inclusion Practice Area. “We are extremely excited to launch the first of the MAP Global Insights Series as it highlights the lessons learned and shares the global findings from the first six MAP pilot countries.”
The first Note, released during the annual European Microfinance Week (EMW), organised by the European Microfinance Platform (e-MFP), one of the industry’s premier networks for knowledge sharing and supported by the Luxembourg Government, unpacks the target market segmentation approach that is core to the MAP methodology of putting the client at the core of the analysis. “Decoding the Customer” provides a window into the emerging cross-country segments, and the implications for donors, policymakers and providers in this regard.
Different types of clients behave differently and have different needs for financial services. Understanding the needs and demands of people and their households makes it possible to develop policy, product and service solutions that better serve the needs of such households and reduce inequalities of access. With greater access to a range of financial services, households and businesses can generate income, build assets, smooth consumption and manage risks.
Market segmentation has traditionally been used by the private sector to determine the potential size of a market, estimate the business case for providing services, and better target the products and services offered to these segments. The approach offered by MAP enables a detailed understanding of the needs and demands of the people which will assist policymakers and providers to design policies and products better suited to the needs of the people.
“Decoding the Customer” finds that the customer typologies that emerged from MAP research are in fact broadly similar across each of the pilot countries, despite geographical, cultural, and contextual differences. The report identifies six unique client segments, comprising salaried workers, farmers, self-employed adults, irregular earners, dependents and migrants, each of which represents a different target market and as such presents different potential contribution to achieving financial inclusion policy objectives and market development opportunities for providers.
MAP is a multi-country initiative that supports financial inclusion through a process of evidence-based analysis feeding into a financial inclusion roadmap jointly implemented by a range of local stakeholders. MAP was initiated by UNCDF and is implemented in partnership with FinMark Trust and the Centre for Financial Regulation and Inclusion (Cenfri). In each country, MAP brings together a broad range of stakeholders from within government, the private sector, and the donor community to create a set of practical actions aimed at extending financial inclusion tailored to that country. For more information, please visit https://www.uncdf.org/en/map.