Since they began from different starting points, each institution took different pathways to achieve this transformation. They focused on improving customers’ financial health by testing approaches in three core areas:
- Future-proofing through digital innovation
As part of the project, these four financial institutions worked to become resilient and ready in the face of change and innovation in the digital age – to become “future-proof.” The four OPTIX partner institutions learned to leverage technology to become more efficient, build tools that provide real benefits for their customers, utilize data to make better-informed decisions, and deliver faster and better products and services more conveniently
- Future-proofing product performance and value
Microfinance institutions often assume that certain products will be “good” for customers, leading them to offer simplistic cookie-cutter products without much diversification or tailoring for market segments. But from our research, we recognize that when products are not designed with hard data or customer research, they are not always relevant resulting in low uptake and high operational costs.
OPTIX partner institutions were offering various products but not designing and combining them to maximize customer lifetime value. While the institutions have access to easy and “free” insights into client behaviors, they were not utilizing the data for product development. OPTIX supported institutions to use evidence from data analytics, business-case analysis, and customer and staff research to develop evidence-based and customer-centric product combinations.
- Future-proofing using behavioral insights
Financial institutions often design new products and then feel surprised when customers do not find the product appealing and do not use it. Behavioral science can help financial institutions future-proof by shedding light on these mysteries. Insights from behavioral science s can reveal how customers approach their financial lives and explain how they understand and utilize financial products.
OPTIX helped its four partner institutions use behavioral concepts to put customers at the center of their thinking, improve their offerings, and create nudges toward better financial health. But OPTIX went beyond nudges, it pointed to important product design choices informed by behavioral insights that could lead to the desired improved behavior among customers. The OPTIX team designed and helped implement changes to make sure financial solutions improve customers’ resilience, help them gain control and create more opportunities for their lives.