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Grameen Foundation Microsavings Work Featured in Wall Street Journal

Between 2008 and 2013, Grameen Foundation helped CARD Bank to open 480,000 new savings accounts through its microsavings initiative. In this article, Julie Peachey, director of Grameen Foundation's social peformance management team, discusses the findings of a study designed to improve savings habits of these new clients through behavioral science. The study was conducted by ideas42.


Elsa Ligua, a mother of four, and her niece Rose Anne, a single mother, save money for their children’s futures through Grameen Foundation’s microsavings program in the Philippines.

Elsa’s husband has a shoe repair stall near the public market in San Pablo City. For years, Elsa has added to the family income by selling food. All four of their children go to school. She is proud that their oldest child also works as a supermarket clerk.

Mrs. Yusnaini

Fifteen years ago, Mrs. Yusnaini moved to Aceh, Indonesia with her husband to search for better business opportunities. She opened a small stand in front of her house where she made and sold traditional Indonesian meals: lontong (rice cakes served in a coconut gravy) in the morning, and baksa (a meatball soup) in the afternoons. Despite their hard work, she and her husband struggled to provide for their five children.

Use of Mobile Financial Services Among Poor Women

These studies aim to understand how mobile phone technology and its usability is impacting poor women’s ability to access and benefit from mobile financial services.  Many players assume that if a poor person owns a mobile phone, they are able to use it. We have found that this is a faulty assumption, and believe that usability and “mobile phone literacy” are big issues that are preventing poor women in particular to benefit from mobile-enabled solutions. 

Applying Behavioral Economics to Improve Microsavings Outcomes

Many of the world’s toughest problems, including persistent poverty, are rooted in individual behavior. Behavioral economics and more specifically the emerging practice of behavioral design offer powerful tools to solve these social problems at large scale. Behavioral design applies insights from decades of academic research in behavioral economics and behavioral psychology to develop low-cost interventions with large effects.