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Designing Digital Financial Services for Smallholder Families

This report presents the insight in how digital finance can work for smallholders. Digital tools offer great opportunities for the users, but cannot replace personal support, according to the new human centered design (HCD) research. Using human-centered design (HCD), CGAP and its partners found that in order for digital financial solutions to work for smallholders, financial service providers need to minimize the perceived risk of trying new technology and build personal support into financial products. Smallholders traditionally lack access to formal financial services and digital financial services are a logical and promising solution. However, smallholder farmers and their families face a number of challenges when it comes to discovering and using digital financial services, including poor mobile network connections, low penetration of mobile devices, and low rates of mobile literacy. For digital finance to work for these customers, the products and services must be tailored to their needs and combined with personal support. The research is based on the results from projects in Cambodia, Rwanda, Senegal and Zimbabwe.This report presents the insight in how digital finance can work for smallholders. Digital tools offer great opportunities for the users, but cannot replace personal support, according to the new human centered design (HCD) research. Using human-centered design (HCD), CGAP and its partners found that in order for digital financial solutions to work for smallholders, financial service providers need to minimize the perceived risk of trying new technology and build personal support into financial products. Smallholders traditionally lack access to formal financial services and digital financial services are a logical and promising solution. However, smallholder farmers and their families face a number of challenges when it comes to discovering and using digital financial services, including poor mobile network connections, low penetration of mobile devices, and low rates of mobile literacy. For digital finance to work for these customers, the products and services must be tailored to their needs and combined with personal support. The research is based on the results from projects in Cambodia, Rwanda, Senegal and Zimbabwe.

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