Savings Account Innovation in India

A Call for Banking Partners

Partner with Us Below

ideas42 is seeking expressions of interest from Indian banks interested in partnering with our experienced financial inclusion team at no cost to pilot and implement a behaviorally informed design aimed at increasing savings deposits and helping their customers achieve their goals. We’re offering one bank the opportunity to be a pioneer of customer-centric innovation in Indian banking by working with us on this unique, free opportunity through a call for partners.

Take the next step to inclusive banking

Increased access to bank accounts and a massive financial inclusion push by the government in India have ensured that most rural lower income households have now begun to use and trust formal banking services. However, our most recent work with digital financial service providers across India has highlighted the need for products to be not just more accessible, but also aligned with the day-to-day needs and financial behaviors of their customers.

Our deep expertise in designing solutions with an understanding of human behavior, combined with a decade of work in global financial services, has exposed to us the numerous ways in which financial product designs often fall short of producing experiences that facilitate meaningful savings behaviors for customers.

We believe that offering behaviorally informed savings products is the next step for Indian banks looking to both differentiate themselves in a growing and competitive market and improve their financial health and that of their customers.

Use customer-centric design to address unmet need

Even as more low income consumers across India have begun to use bank accounts for transactions, they’re not building substantial savings balances in their savings accounts. For banks, these accounts then prove to be unprofitable on account of small deposit mobilization and limited opportunities to cross-sell. Our new design concept specifically draws upon our experience of successfully implementing behaviorally informed design modifications for a large commercial bank in South Asia and proven behavioral research to encourage small value savings through earmarking and separating funding. Our design is tailored to specifically address these challenges, thereby creating positive benefits for both banks and their customers.

Additionally, our research shows that low income consumers in India currently have an intention to save, but their needs are not being met by the existing products offered to them such as savings accounts, fixed and recurring deposits. Even so-called flexible recurring deposits, which let customers save portions of money as and when they have it, are restrictive on account of their design, which essentially locks in deposits for a predetermined long-term period. Before reaching the date of maturity in the future, such accounts charge a penalty for any withdrawals, effectively putting the money out of reach in the medium or short term. Customers want to save in an environment that supports their medium to long term goals without being locked-in (should emergencies arise) or having to ‘break’ deposit accounts prematurely. They also want to avoid the hassles of maintaining multiple accounts. Our new design concept also addresses these needs by building in features and process components around the way customers actually behave and use their money.

Opportunity to utilize our designs at no cost

The interested bank selected to work with us to develop and test our concept would be joining us in a non-commercial agreement, as our costs are covered by a philanthropic grant. However, in order to be successful, banking partners would be required to contribute the resources needed to develop the product prototype and pilot it with their own customers, with our support and guidance along the way. The bank would benefit by gaining a first-mover advantage to customize, test and scale our innovative product design, gaining them a reputation as a pioneer in customer-centric innovation. Furthermore, gaining access to leading experts in behavioral design and testing for guidance could also support the bank’s internal capacity building efforts.

How to apply

Come partner with us and utilize our team’s behavioral design and testing expertise as you support your customers. Join us on this innovative journey to redesign the way people in India save and increase their financial stability. Interested banks should write to us at by 31st October 2018.