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Text Messaging for Financial Behaviour Change in Zambia


Researchers: Michael King and Syon Bhanot (Swarthmore College)

Partners: World Bank i2i Grant

Location: Zambia

Sample: 84,000 Natsave customers

Timeline: 2017-2018

Theme: Financial Inclusion and Financial Capability


Working with Natsave, Zambia, this project employs a novel text-messaging-based intervention to: 1) identify the behavioral barriers that lead to low engagement with formal financial services amongst those using the services; and 2) test strategies to help people overcome those barriers to increase engagement and financial security. Additionally, the study will provide the first evidence on the impact of conversational, two-way text messaging designed to encourage savings and improve loan repayment behaviors through Q&A capabilities and efforts to enhance trust in formal financial products. The study is working with 84,000 Natsave customers and involves both phone surveys and in-person surveys.