Understanding the low income population in Nigeria - Mar 2011

Access to a range of affordable, safe and reliable financial services i.e. credit, savings, investments, insurance, and transfer services) provide the necessary lubricant for economic growth and will contribute to reducing poverty in Nigeria. Readily accessible and affordable formal savings services will help smoothen out consumption, and offer a buffer in family events/emergencies that typically plunge poor people into chronic poverty or tip those on the edge into poverty.

EFInA has undertaken qualitative research to deepen our understanding of the low income population in Nigeria, especially their savings habits, challenges faced when using banks and the potential for using mobile phones to manage their finances. The broad objective of the research was to better understand the characteristics of the low income population in Nigeria, so as to encourage financial institutions to provide appropriate and affordable financial products (especially savings products) that best suit their needs. The research covered the following:

  • The role of savings in their lives
  • The types of savings products they currently use
  • Advantages/disadvantages of using formal/informal savings products
  • Challenges faced when using banks
  • What financial institutions can do to attract their patronage
  • The potential for using mobile phones to manage their finances
  • Which organizations they would trust for providing mobile financial services
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