ideas42 joins Metlife Foundation and CajaVecina to scale effective savings program to more people in Chile

New behaviorally informed automatic savings program rolls out successful intervention that increased savings levels 34% for thousands in initial pilot nationwide

New York, NY June 3, 2020—ideas42, a non-profit behavioral design lab, in partnership with MetLife Foundation and CajaVecina, a leading correspondent bank in Chile, announced the rollout of a behaviorally informed automatic savings program across the country. Called El que Guarda Siempre Tiene (“Waste not, Want not”), the new nationwide program scales a successful pilot that was conducted by ideas42 in early 2018 within the CajaVecina network, thanks to generous support from MetLife Foundation.

In Chile, many people can do their banking at familiar local shops thanks to CajaVecina, a banking correspondent service for the country’s state-owned bank, BancoEstado (BE). When people visit a local store that has a CajaVecina point-of-service device, they can (and do) make withdrawals and deposits, pay bills, or transfer money. Yet, despite higher than average levels of access to financial services, for years many people struggled to save.

This new program capitalizes on research from behavioral science showing that access is not enough to spur action, and that using automatic recurring transfers is remarkably effective at increasing savings. This is especially timely in light of the global COVID-19 pandemic, which has underscored the need for solutions that can help people bolster their financial health while protecting their physical health through minimizing in-person interactions.

ideas42 ran an initial pilot, conducted over three months with a randomized sample of 5,000 Operadores who are part of CajaVecina networks across municipalities in Chile. Operadores are owners of small shops selling goods and services that also use point-of-sale (POS) devices to offer basic financial services, particularly in communities where traditional bank branches are unavailable. They receive a monthly commission from the bank for operating the devices, and through this savings program they were able to designate part of their commission for deposit into their savings account automatically each month.

Results from the pilot program found:

  • 28% enrollment in the program among Operadores reached by phone
  • 25% of earned commission transferred to enrolled savings accounts each month
  • 24% increase in savings balances in the first three months of the program.

Further analysis in June 2018 found that savings balances for enrolled Operadores continued increasing during the following months and were 34% higher by November of the same year.

Scaling this program will create a financially sustainable automatic savings channel for the more than 15,000 CajaVecina Operadores who own a BE savings bank account throughout Chile. Furthermore, this has proved to be an effective approach that other employers can adopt to strengthen their relationship with employees, contractors, or affiliate participants while offering tools to improve their financial health.

Following initial success in the pilot, CajaVecina began a roll out of the program to 10,000 more operators in Summer 2019, and 22% of those who were reached are now enrolled and benefiting from the program.

We are impressed by the results of the savings experiment.  We know that people here in Chile do have the desire to save, but as is true everywhere, find it difficult.  We’re happy to support MetLife Foundation programs that help people live healthy financial lives,” said Andrea Brajovic of ProVida/MetLife, MetLife’s Corporate Social Responsibility representative in Chile.

 “It is because of the incredible success of our behaviorally-informed pilots that CajaVecina is now rolling out the program to make it available to its entire network,” said Alissa Fishbane, Managing Director at ideas42. “The results point to the outsized impact that small but thoughtful changes, like making something easier or even automatic, can have on improving lives. We applaud CajaVecina for providing a cost-effective program that increases savings and provides a path to building a more secure financial future for thousands of people in Chile.”

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About ideas42

ideas42 is a non-profit looking for deep insights into human behavior—into why people do what they do—and using that knowledge in ways that help improve lives, build better systems, and drive social change. Working globally, we reinvent the practices of institutions, and create better products and policies that can be scaled for maximum impact.

We also teach others, ultimately striving to generate lasting social impact and create a future where the universal application of behavioral science powers a world with optimal health, equitable wealth, and environments and systems that are sustainable and just for all.

For more than a decade, we’ve been at the forefront of applying behavioral science in the real world. And as we’ve developed our expertise, we’ve helped to define an entire field. Our efforts have so far extended to 40 countries as we’ve partnered with governments, foundations, NGOs, private enterprises, and a wide array of public institutions–in short, anyone who wants to make a positive difference in peoples’ lives.

About CajaVecina

CajaVecina es un innovador sistema de servicios financieros y no financieros que permite a las personas clientes y no clientes de BancoEstado que residen en zonas alejadas, o en comunas densamente pobladas, realizar transacciones a través de un dispositivo denominado POS (point of sale) conectado en línea con BancoEstado e instalado en pequeños  negocios de barrio, pequeños minimarket, ferias libres, lanchas en Chiloé, transbordadores, entre otros múltiples formatos de atención. Las transacciones disponibles con efectivo o medios de pago (plásticos) BancoEstado son: retiros y depósitos desde cuentas BancoEstado (CuentaRut, Chequera Electrónica, Cuenta Corriente y Cuenta de Ahorro),  pagos de créditos personales e hipotecas, transferencias a cuentas del Banco, consultas de saldo, cambio de clave, bonos Fonasa, recarga de celulares de pre pago, pagos de cuentas de servicio,entre otras.

Permite ahorrar tiempo y dinero, ya que con CajaVecina realizar trámites bancarios puede ser “a la vuelta de la esquina” en tu barrio. Es así como en zonas apartadas o densamente pobladas, los segmentos vulnerables del país (tercera edad, localidades rurales, islas, comunas aisladas  o alejadas de las capitales, entre otras) ahorran tiempo y dinero pues no necesitan desplazarse del lugar donde viven o trabajan para efectuar los trámites. Con esto, BancoEstado y CajaVecina apoyan activamente la inclusión financiera y la bancarización del país.

La red es gestionada estratégicamente mes a mes y la meta es construir un país menos concentrado y menos desigual. El principal objetivo es “acercar el Banco a todos quienes habitan en el país para mejorar su calidad de vida”, para hacer de Chile, un país más inclusivo, equitativo y más humano.

About MetLife Foundation

At MetLife Foundation, we believe financial health belongs to everyone. We bring together bold solutions, deep financial expertise and meaningful grants to build financial health for people and communities that are underserved and aspire for more. We partner with organizations around the world to create financial health solutions and build stronger communities, engaging MetLife employee volunteers to help drive impact. MetLife Foundation was created in 1976 to continue MetLife’s long tradition of corporate contributions and community involvement. Since its founding through the end of 2018, MetLife Foundation provided $822 million in grants and $85 million in program-related investments to make a positive impact in the communities where MetLife operates. To date, our financial health work has reached 9.9 million low-income individuals in 42 countries. To learn more about MetLife Foundation, visit metlife.org.

Acerca de MetLife Foundation

En MetLife Foundation, creemos que la salud financiera corresponde a todos. Reunimos soluciones audaces, una profunda experiencia financiera y significativos donativos para desarrollar la salud financiera en personas y comunidades marginadas que aspiran a más. Apoyamos organizaciones sociales de todo el mundo a fin de crear soluciones de salud financiera y desarrollar comunidades más fuertes. A la vez, motivamos a los colaboradores de MetLife para ayudar a generar un impacto positivo, a través del voluntariado corporativo. MetLife Foundation se creó en el año 1976 con el fin de continuar con la tradición de años de MetLife de realizar contribuciones corporativas y de participar en la comunidad. Desde su creación hasta fines de 2018, MetLife Foundation ha otorgado USD 822 millones en donativos y USD 85 millones en inversiones en programas para marcar una diferencia positiva en las comunidades en las que MetLife presta servicios. Al día de hoy, nuestro trabajo en salud financiera ha ayudado a 9.9 millones de personas de bajos ingresos en 42 países. Para obtener más información sobre MetLife Foundation, visita metlife.org.

 

Media Contact: Mitra Salasel, ideas42, mitra@ideas42.org

Andrea Brajovic, MetLife Foundation andrea.brajovic@metlife.cl

Valeska Plaza, CajaVecina vplaza@cajavecina.bancoestado.cl

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