Access to savings products provides low-income households with a critical financial resource that promotes asset development and protects against shocks. Often, poor households in rural India do not use savings products owing to reasons that may be structural (no reliable institutions to deliver savings products) or behavioural (lack of financial literacy about the value of savings).
IFMR LEAD’s Centre for Microfinance (CMF) engages in research studies to help poor households overcome barriers to formal savings and to measure the effectiveness of various savings products. Recently, CMF researchers piloted a study on how financial literacy training impacted rural households’ financial behaviour. CMF is also exploring the effectiveness of incentives on savings behaviour, and how, in a technologically advanced environment, peer networks might help individuals mitigate psychological barriers and mobilize savings.