Tools & Resources Two Unique Approaches in Designing Products Based on Customer Requirements: SEWA Bank and IFMR

Two Unique Approaches in Designing Products Based on Customer Requirements: SEWA Bank and IFMR

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SEWA Bank, an urban co-operative bank, adopts a lifecycle approach wherein women’s financial requirements are mapped from birth to death and products are designed to meet their short, medium, and long-term needs. The KGFS model was designed by IFMR Rural Finance as a next generation financial products and services delivery model for unbanked communities.

sewabank_logoSEWA Bank, an urban co-operative bank, adopts a lifecycle approach wherein women’s financial requirements are mapped from birth to death and products are designed to meet their short, medium, and long-term needs. SEWA Bank’s objective is to act as a lifetime friend to its female clients, and design services and products that meet their needs. SEWA Bank is committed to continuously learn more about its members through surveys, interviews etc. One of the ways used to assess members’ needs is the Exposure Dialogue Program (EDP) or Tanabana (i.e., “interviewing”) through the bank staff. As part of the EDP, SEWA Bank staff share the clients’ lives for a few days, observe and analyze their vulnerabilities, and come up with strategies to provide the best solutions in terms of financial or non- financial initiatives. This bottom-up approach enables SEWA Bank to gather feedback about existing products and services and understand the clients’ evolving needs. Through observations, SEWA Bank can reflect on its changing market needs and take steps to build long-term relationships with its clients in a sustainable manner.

ifmr-logoThe Kshetriya Gramin Financial Services (KGFS) model was designed by IFMR Rural Finance as a next generation financial products and services delivery model for unbanked communities. It operates under the Principles of focused geographic commitment, client wealth management, and offering a broad range of products. There is added emphasis on designing products specifically to meet the local geographic profile of clients and match their income streams. In addition, IFMR has developed a wealth management approach, which generates a Financial Wellbeing Report (FWR) for each client’s household, taking into account current assets and liabilities, cash-flows and future goals. The report uses the PGPD framework (Planning, Growth, Protection and Diversification) which is used by IFMR’s field staff (Wealth Managers) to recommend specific products to their clients based on their household surplus and financial goals. IFMR follows a continuous, methodical and systematic effort to deepen the understanding of clients and strives to maintain products and processes that keep customers at the heart of their business.

This story was originally published in the Smart Campaign State of Practice Report Implementing Client Protection in Indian Microfinance.