What the poor need ?

Interaction with NGOs, grassroots workers and focus group discussions with women, suggest that there are certain attributes of the lower income savers that are critical to the success of any initiative in microfinance:

  • Small amounts saved at any one time.

  • Frequent/regular savings rather than lumpy saving.

  • Many periods when savings are negative, during this period they draw out of savings for consumption.

  • Concern for safety.

  • Ease of transaction, preferably at the doorstep or walking distance.

  • Rate of interest is not a critical issue; in fact they are willing to pay realistic costs for basic intermediation.