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Savings for the Poor: Some Key Lessons

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November 09, 2011

There are often myths and misperceptions about the ability of poor people to save. At the SEEP conference, Kate Druschel Griffin, director of Grameen Foundation’s Solutions for the Poorest team, discussed those myths and also highlighted lessons her Microsavings team has learned over the past two years.

The Microsavings team has been working with three organizations in three countries: ACSI of Ethiopia, CASHPOR of India, and CARD Bank of the Philippines. Some of the key lessons they learned include:

  1. The poor are saving – and thanks to our poverty measurement tool, the Progress out of Poverty Index® (PPI®), we’re able to track how people at different poverty levels are saving in their accounts. This helps us better adapt products to their needs.
  2. Technology is and will continue to be a key component in any program, but trusted intermediaries can play a critical role.
  3. The poor know why and how to save. However, they often need more guidance and financial education so that they can better understand and choose between the services that are available to them.
Watch a video of Kate speaking at the conference.