This case study explores the challenges and opportunities of linking savings groups to formal financial services for rural, low-income women and men in Uganda.
UGAFODE completed a six-month pilot of GroupSave, with only 148 GroupSave accounts opened out of the 448 targeted. Facing lackluster results, the Business Growth department and MEDA embarked on a new journey to understand why customer adoption by savings groups was lower than expected and why many of the newly opened accounts became dormant.
As detailed in this case, the answer lies in several different places. The journey of transforming from a credit-led MFI to a savings and lending institution is not straightforward. Nor is the process of mobilizing savings group clients and rolling out a new alternative delivery channel connected to mobile money. While client surveys and other stakeholder interviews still indicated that there was a clear market need for this product, the UGAFODE and MEDA team hypothesized that continuous customer engagement could be the missing ingredient.