Adapted Products series: Services that meet the need of the Poor Our Poverty-focused Microfinance Community of Practice (PovCoP) will be exploring adapted products over the coming months in a series of posts, group discussions, and interviews. We’ll start with a few case studies and learn what made each project a success. Please help broaden our understanding by sharing your own experiences with the community as well. For more information on adapting microfinance products globally, take a look at CGAPs recently released Better Insights for Better Products.
Commitment Savings in the Philippines From 2000-2003, the Green Bank of Caraga and researchers from Innovations for Poverty Action worked to design and implement a commitment savings product called a SEED account (Save, Earn, Enjoy Deposits) for borrowers in the Philippines. This product was different than traditional savings products due to a commitment on the part of customers to restrict access to their savings account. The SEED savings account offered no other benefits, and yielded the same interest rate as that from a normal savings account.
Born as a collaborative effort between practitioner and researchers, the SEED Savings field experiment yielded quite positive results as far as product adoption, household empowerment for women, and self-perception of savings behavior. Here are some resources on the findings of this work:
Grameen Bank and CARD Bank in the Philippines also worked together on a Microsavings Initiative. You can read more about the preliminary results of this initiative in this CGAP article. This initiative was set to wrap-up at the end of 2012 and we hope to see more detailed results coming forward soon.
What kinds of savings products are offered in your area?