What Do Microfinance Customers Value?

This note is based on the key findings regarding customer needs and satisfaction levels from research conducted between 1999 and 2001 with four microfinance institutions affiliated to WWB. The findings represent the opinion of over 3,000 individual customers, located in three countries: Bangladesh, Uganda and Colombia. This research was conducted as part of WWB’s Strategic Positioning Program (SPP), which incorporates industry and competitive analysis, diagnosis of the organization, and statistically valid surveys of existing and past clients. Survey questionnaires asked about the importance and satisfaction of clients with a variety of loan attributes, in absolute terms and relative to other service providers. Clients were also asked open-ended questions, including what additional products and services they wanted.

The results suggest that microfinance clients:

  • Value speed and convenience
  • Want access to larger loans
  • Want respect and recognition
  • Care about interest rates
  • As their experience grows, clients of group loans want different loan amounts, and resent the need to guarantee repayment by other members of the group
  • Want business loans
  • Want to be able to deposit voluntary savings
  • Want housing and education loans
  • Want health and life insurance
  • Willing to pay what it costs for responsive, sustainable services

This note aims to make comparisons across institutions to illustrate the areas in which customers from different countries and institutions employing diverse methodologies have similar and varying levels of satisfaction. While it can be difficult to make direct comparisons across countries, due in part to the local realities of each country’s microfinance market, the trends in the data provide insight to managers regardless of location.

  • Author Women's World Banking
  • Year of Publication2003
  • RegionGlobal
  • Number of pages16 pp.
  • EditionLo que Funciona

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