Mobile Engagement Increases Savings Rate in Ghana

Opportunity International Ghana* sought to increase customer savings balances and activity through a nation-wide mobile engagement campaign. Partnering with Viamo, Opportunity reached approximately 37,000 customers over a period of six months through tailored Interactive Voice Response (IVR) messages in three local languages: Twi, Ga, and Dagbane. This IVR strategy permitted Opportunity to reach their customers regardless of language and literacy, effectively reaching their financially marginalized and underserved clientele.

The goals of the Financial Literacy Project were to increase customer savings balances and activity by encouraging active customers to save more; reducing the rate at which customers become inactive; and emphasizing the use of mobile phone banking. Opportunity maximized social behavior change by customizing messages based on customer profiles, iterating the messages based on input from focus groups and client feedback, and through support from Viamo’s in-house technical experts applying evidence-based strategies to tweak the message content and delivery system.

By monitoring account activity and balances, Opportunity was able to determine that there was a statistically significant positive correlation between the number of calls listened to and increased savings. After ten weekly calls, customers who had listened to at least six calls increased their savings balances nearly twofold on average when compared to customers in the sample who had listened to only two calls or fewer, saving on average $13 USD vs. $7 USD.

Furthermore, qualitative feedback from the field revealed an outcome that surpassed expectations: that IVR developed and entrenched the relationship between the Opportunity brand and their customers. When asked about their experience, one client stated that, “The messages give me assurance that Opportunity is with me and they give me confidence to continue with Opportunity” and another said that “The messages remind me that Opportunity exists and cares.”

Moving forward, Opportunity is exploring additional research on the effectiveness of IVR for meeting their objectives and how IVR might be used to further benefit their programing. Opportunity is also pursuing options to test IVR messages in Uganda and other countries in which they operate.

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*More on our partner:
Opportunity International is a global network that provides small business loans, savings, insurance and training to 9.6 million people working their way out of poverty in 22 countries. A member of the Opportunity network, Opportunity Ghana is a leading savings and loans institution in Ghana with a strong focus on serving those who are excluded from mainstream banking. While serving micro, small, and medium size businesses, Opportunity Ghana further invests in their clients by providing financial education and support.