Product Design Case Studies


The poor and other underserved populations in developing countries have unique financial services needs. However, there is often a mismatch between what financial institutions offer and
what underserved populations need or want. This 'product gap' may reflect a lack of interest by financial institutions in designing more target products, or a lack of willingness or capacity on the part of financial institutions to design, market and implement tailor-made financial products.

A better understanding of successful products and the processes behind their design, development and implementation may help increase Access to Finance for underserved populations. In line with IFC's Learning Agenda on responsible financial inclusion, the Product Design Case Studies were established to bridge the gap between product design/innovation and financial inclusion, increase knowledge related to product design and development processes, and focus attention on the end beneficiaries of financial products.

The objectives of the Product Design Case Studies are to:
  • develop expertise related to product design and innovation processes through a better understanding of best practices in the field, in depth research and application of behavioral economics concepts;
  • increase awareness of product design/innovation and the links between product development and financial inclusion;
  • generate publicity and knowledge sharing around product design and innovation.

IFC has partnered with ideas42 to research and develop the Product Design Case Studies with a particular focus on behavioral economics. The case studies present useful products and product innovations that are scalable across a broad range of markets and offer broadly valuable insights into features of successful products, customer behavior and the product development process itself. The case studies also highlight the benefits for financial institutions of implementing or designing new products, and the corresponding effect on responsible financial inclusion of underserved populations.

- Emergency Hand Loan
- Kilimo Salama – Index-based Agriculture Insurance
- Commitment Savings Accounts in Malawi
- WING Mobile Payments