Can simple messaging induce saving habits?
The mobile money landscape in Tanzania has been rapidly evolving, closely following Kenya in terms of total penetration. In 2017 more than 50% of Tanzania’s adult population was registered for formal digital financial services, mostly mobile money. Tanzania is also the first country in Sub-Saharan Africa to allow mobile money providers to earn interest on their escrow accounts, with Tigo-Pesa being the first to offer its subscribers interest payouts of 7-9% per annum (better than a one-year term deposit). Despite these incentives however, average mobile savings balances remain low, especially among low-income users.
In order to understand the reasons for this, CGAP partnered with the World Bank’s Mind, Behavior and Development Unit (eMBeD) and Busara to understand what influenced the saving habits of low-income Tanzanians and ultimately design a set of nudges that could lead to higher savings rates on a mobile money product.