Research All Projects


  • Country level research in Nepal and Lao PDR

    MicroSave works extensively with MM4P, UNCDF’s programme to expand digital financial services in least developed countries (LDC). MicroSave conducted country level researches to understand potential of DFS in Lao PDR. The research worked used focus discussion groups and individual interview methods to collect data. The market research work helped a bank and a MNO to define their target market segments, product roadmap, pricing and distribution strategy.  A country level report on developing client centered digital financial services in Lao PDR was also published (see highlight here). Research engagement in Nepal aimed to understand customer journey to access DFS in Nepal, agent network assessment and prospective agent networks. The research on customer journey approach used MI4ID approach to identify barriers that customers face and their propensities to use DFS products. (see related BN).

  • Microinsurance Research

    LeapFrog and IFMRC contracted MicroSave to better understand the insurance needs of originator end-clients. This understanding will be used to: 1) improve product quality and client protection (relevance, affordability, awareness) of existing originator insurance products; 2) identify gaps and opportunities for better, more tailored products that clients understand (enhancing client protection) via a structured IFMRC insurance initiative. We conducted secondary research on existing literature on insurance outreach in these segments and client behaviours with respect to purchase of  insurance products. The qualitative primary research involved  behavioural diagnosis using  MI4ID centric approach. We mapped behaviour on all four research areas (risk perception, awareness, willingness and preference) with combination of tools like interview, focus group discussion and behavioural analysis tools and identified broad behavioural biases and concepts at play and conception of possible design level interventions. We also estimated the income of clients using Progress-Out of-Poverty index (PPI TM) researches. The analysis was used generate ideas on product prototypes, which were provided to the clients.

  • Assessment of Financial Capability, India

    The Alternative Financial Education programme was designed by MicroSave, for CASHPOR Micro Credit (CMC)–a leading MFI in north India. The AFE programme was based on product led financial education approach, aimed to enhance knowledge, skills, and attitude of participants on product available to them. The objective of the assessment was to identify changes in programme participants' knowledge, skills, and attitude, and understand key benefits to CMC. We used Bamboo Ladder (BL) tool evolved from the Self-Anchoring Striving Scale. The BL permits respondents to express their perceptions without imposing forced choices through Western style questionnaires while allowing comparisons over time. To explore benefits to CMC, analysis of operational data was done along with interviews with the staff.

  • Market Insights into the Financial Behaviours of Cocoa Farmers in Indonesia

    MicroSave was commissioned by NetHope to conduct primary research to understand the demographic profile of farmers, their needs and preferences regarding financial services and their financial behaviour. In addition, the study also compared and evaluated the use of a mobile-based data collection method with a paper-based data collection method. MicroSave used both qualitative and quantitative data collection techniques for collection of primary research data from cocoa farmers. The team collected necessary information for identifying the potential of mobile based financial solutions across the cocoa value chain and the eventual scaling up of the pilot to the broader population of cocoa farmers, residents, and other related agricultural value chains. The findings and recommendations from the research study helped NetHope and AMARTA II define strategy for creating mobile money ecosystem for agricultural value chains and facilitate access of quality financial services to the farmers and their communities in the Sulawesi Island.

  • The Money Management Metaphor (Metamon) Research, Asia

    Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation engaged MicroSave to design metaphors that explain money management practices of low-income market segment.  The first stage of the project involved listening to clients talk about how they think about money, budgeting and their savings in a variety of contexts. We generated a catalogue of ideas that captured the key words and imagery they use. The second stage involved synthesis of the ideas and imagery collected to create a higher-level metaphor. This involved much higher level of abstraction than what customers would say spontaneously. Finally the chosen metaphors were presented to the clients and their reactions captured to improve the expression of metaphors and maximize relevance.

  • Research on the Role of Information Sources in Financial Capability in India

    MicroSave conducted this research to identify and describe in detail the information sources used by low income clients in financial decision making. The research mapped the paths of dissemination that flow from key information sources, and explained how perceptions of trust are built around them leading to ultimate use of the information source. Research results provided critical insights on financial decision making, different type of information sources, and other critical behavioural factors affecting financial decision making of rural household in North India. The output of the research played significant role in designing financial capability programme for the clients’ of the partner institution.

  • Product Innovation in Digital Financial Services in India

    As part of efforts to support the financial inclusion agenda in India, MicroSave has conducted five research studies across India. The research studies were as follows:

    • Exploring Agent Networks for Digital Finance– To understand the preferences of low-income households for digital finance agents.
    • Understanding Remittance Networks– To understand the channels used by family members of migrant workers to receive money at home.
    • Cost and Willingness to Pay–This study assessed the current level of costs that the poor have to pay to access existing savings accounts and their willingness to pay for a safe, secure and convenient agent-based digital financial services.
    • Dormancy in No-Frills Accounts– To examine the reasons for dormancy and provide recommendations for improving the design, delivery, and associated services of these accounts to increase uptake and usage.
    • Relative Risk to Savings of Poor People– The study was conducted in three Indian states - Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, and Tamil Nadu. It was aimed at understanding poor people’s savings behaviour and the associated risks.


    The findings from these studies has been  used to inform a series of action research partnerships to develop client responsive digital finance systems involving collaborative arrangements between banks, mobile network operators and technology service providers.

  • Research for Agent Network Accelerator in Africa and Asia

    Agent Network Accelerator aims at increasing the global understanding of how to build and manage sustainable cash-in/cash-out (CICO) networks in poor communities, and across broad geographies. MicroSave is conducting detailed assessments of more than 25 agent networks in eight countries (Uganda, Tanzania, Kenya, Nigeria, India, Indonesia, Bangladesh and Pakistan), twice, over a period of 4 years. These assessments will generate systematic qualitative and quantitative data and leading operational insights across a wide range of agent networks. Data and insights acquired during this research project will be documented into outstanding knowledge pieces and research documents, published through The Helix Institute of Digital Finance.