- Girls as young as 10 regularly accumulate money, manage it and see the benefit of having a safe place to save it,
- Girls want flexibility in their accounts, being able to access it to meet short or long-term goals and be free to choose whether they want restricted or unrestricted access for themselves and their parents,
- Girls want a customized and friendly banking experience,
- Parents themselves must also see the value in the product and in financial education in order to adequately support their daughters, and
- Girls need to understand the “why” and “how” of saving before they open accounts.
In 2008, Women’s World Banking began working with XacBank in Mongolia to develop a youth savings and financial education program, with support from the Nike Foundation, as part of the Girl Effect initiative. At that time, financial institutions were traditionally oriented towards adults as customers and were not seeing youth as a viable target market or distinct client segment––considering youth as “little” or “future” adults instead of as a segment with its own needs and aspirations. Also, the availability of savings products truly designed for youth to use and manage was very limited.
The results from a year of research and pilot testing paved the way for a full-scale campaign targeting Mongolian girls in the 14-18 age group with XacBank. We are happy to report that as of early 2013, XacBank has opened over online slots 10,000 “Aspire” youth accounts and over 20,000 youth have participated in financial education. You can read our implementing partner Microfinance Opportunities” full evaluation of the program here. The “Aspire” youth savings account continues to be available at all branches nation-wide, thus paving the way to developing the financial business case for youth savings.
Tomorrow, we’ll be sharing our work with Banco ADOPEM in the Dominican Republic, the second site in this project. As Women’s World Banking seeks to create a new generation of savers with more opportunities than the next generation, we are pushing established frontiers in the industry and helping young girls push new frontiers in their lives as well.
This post is part of a Youth Savings series Women”s World Banking is publishing in honor of International Youth Day 2013.
Other posts in this series:
Celebrating International Youth Day with a look at Youth Savings Programs, August 12, 2013