A Guide to Assessing and Implementing the Universal Standards for Social and Environmental Performance Management

Dimension 3 - Client-centered Products and Services

Client-centered design means thinking through how financial and non-financial services fit into your target clients’ lives and help them achieve their financial goals and then designing accordingly. In order to do this, you must listen to your clients to understand how the needs and product use of different client groups vary, how client satisfaction and exit varies by client group and the reasons behind these. Products and services should be designed to reduce barriers to financial access as well as helping clients achieve financial goals like coping with risk and emergencies, investing in opportunities, smoothing income or creating a safety net.

This dimension has 2 standards:

Resources for Dimension 3
  • Using Client Feedback to Inform Product Design. This webinar focuses on dimension 3 of the Universal Standards, Client-centric Products and Services, and in particular on using client feedback to inform product design. Webinar Brief and Slidedeck
  • The CGAP Customer Experience Toolkit equips organizations to create empowering customer experiences and includes a Workbook as well.
  • The Business Case for Customer Centricity

Standard 3.A The provider collects and analyzes data to understand clients' needs

Understanding client needs is key to ensuring that products and services are actually beneficial to clients in progressing toward their business and family goals. The standards go a step beyond “do no harm” of client protection and also focus on understanding the needs and preferences of different types of clients by conducting client satisfaction surveys, examining reasons clients exit the institution, using that information to adjust products and services or develop new ones.

This standard has 3 essential practices:

Resources for Standard 3A

3.A.1 The provider conducts market research and pilot testing.

Conduct client-centric market research

In addition to data collected to understand whether your institution is meeting its social goals, your institution should conduct market research on your target clients to gain a deeper understanding of their needs, preferences, goals and any obstacles to using financial services.

Traditionally, market research starts with a provider’s products and services (current or potential) and investigates whether clients like or dislike the different features of these. However, client-centric market research starts with the client, not the product. This means first understanding the lives of your target clients, and then designing or modifying products to satisfy their needs and priorities and help them achieve their goals. This type of market research requires that you investigate multiple facets of target clients’ lives—not just the purely financial aspects. You want a holistic picture of the challenges and opportunities your clients face throughout their lifecycle so that your products fit into their lives.

For example, in order to understand the needs and preferences of clients living in rural areas, you would need to collect financial information such as agricultural business types, monthly profit generated from these businesses, variations in seasonal income flows, and client demand for various financial services. In addition, you would want to understand their “non-financial” priorities: What are their goals for their families? What are their most significant vulnerabilities? What is their social status and how does that affect their ability and willingness to engage with service providers?

For users of digital payment services, you would want to understand their comfort level with a mobile interface, the types of transactions they prefer to do digitally as opposed to face-to-face, and which user errors might affect the safety of the mobile product. You might also look at their short- and long- term goals as determinants of the types and sizes of digital transactions.

Your institution can use multiple sources for client data,60 including client interviews, focus groups, surveys, field observations of target client behavior, participatory rapid appraisal, and data mining of the management information system (MIS) which is discussed in greater depth as part of essential practice 3A.2. You can also glean insights on clients by interviewing field employees and managers who have regular contact with clients. The Market Research Techniques Table provides a comparison of the uses of various types of market research techniques.

Market research should include non-client members of your target client segments, and it should seek to identify whether your product/service design unintentionally prevents certain people from accessing your institution’s products and services.

Field examples and Resources

3.A.1.1 Before introducing new products, services, or delivery channels, the provider conducts market research that includes gathering the following data about its target clients:

3.A.1.1.1 Analysis of market share, market saturation, and potential market
3.A.1.1.2 Client profile data, including gender, age, location (urban/rural), and poverty/income level
3.A.1.1.3 Data on clients' needs, goals, and any obstacles to using financial services

Products and services are still often standardized, based on what the sector knows how to do rather than what clients need. Providing high-quality, well-adapted services requires first understanding the financial lives and behaviors of target clients through market research, and then designing the product. Market research is the study of clients and non-clients to identify financial needs, preferences, behaviors and barriers to accessing services.

Scoring guidance
  • If the provider has conducted studies with a sample of clients and non-clients or using focus groups, the answer is ’yes’.
  • If the provider relies on informal discussions with loan officers, analysis of loan requests, or ad hoc surveys with clients or staff to collect client feedback, the answer is ‘partially’.
  • In the first detail, only one of the “analysis of context” elements is necessary to score ‘yes’.
Sources of information
  • Market research reports
  • Product descriptions  
  • Interviews with marketing/ product development
  • Interviews with operations
Evidence to provide
  • Specify the most recent market research done (and refer to related reports if available) and provide a summary of its results.
  • Market research should include an analysis of context to understand market saturation and potential market.  
  • Data on clients’ needs/ obstacles can refer to limits on digital capabilities for example
Field examples / Guidance for implementation  

Analysis of the context may include:

  • Market research to identify client demand (see below)
  • Sector analyses done by the professional association/country network or other actors (consultancy companies, supervisory authorities, World Bank)
  • Analysis of the number of financial service providers in the areas where there are branches
  • Use of the MIMOSA Index for saturation analyses by country
  • Analyses on the capacity of the credit bureau

Regardless of the product or delivery mechanism, market research should examine:

  • Analysis of market share, market situation, and potential market
  • Characteristics of your target clients (client profile data including gender, age, location (urban/rural), poverty/income level, business type);
  • Behaviors of your targets that affect their economic situation (e.g., savings habits);
  • The day-to-day and life-cycle financial needs of your target clients (e.g., home improvements, school fees);
  • The economic and social opportunities and constraints facing your clients;
  • Barriers that target clients face to accessing your products (e.g., distance from branch offices, language barriers, lack of financial education, behavioral/psychological barriers such as only focusing on short-term needs);
  • Risks and common emergencies that target clients face (e.g., lack of health insurance, vulnerability to natural disasters);
  • The extent to which your current products and services meet these above needs; and
  • How products could better address the above opportunities and constraints
Resources for indicator 3.A.1.1

3.A.1.2 The provider conducts pilot tests before introducing a new product or making significant changes to an existing product.

3.A.1.2.1 The provider pilot tests products among clients with different socioeconomic and demographic characteristics.
3.A.1.2.2 The provider collects feedback on pilot products from both employees and clients.

Pilot-tests are necessary to verify understanding by clients, adaptation of services to target clients’ needs and preferences, and to avoid pre-defined expectations on how the services will be used and valued by the clients.

Scoring guidance
  • To score “Yes”, the provider has a formal pilot test process. This process should define clear objectives, ensure the pilot is carried out with a reasonable sample of clients representative of the different types of target clients, and identify key indicators to monitor. It should be limited in time with a deadline where KPIs are measured to assess the suitability of the product.  
  • This applies to all types of products; if there are some recently developed and innovative products without pilot test, this should be scored “partially”  
  • If the provider has not conducted a formal pilot test but conducted a survey or focus group discussions with a sample of its clients to gather their feedback on a product to be launched, mark “yes” in 3.A.1.2.2 but “partially” in 3.A.1.2.1
  • The feedback from employees can be gathered before launching the pilot test and/or after the pilot. It should include a majority of front-line staff but can be less formal than the pilot test process.
Sources of information
  • Product prototype
  • Interview with Marketing / Product Development
  • Interview with Operations
  • Pilot test Report
Evidence to provide
  • Take a recent example and describe the pilot phase, its duration, the sample of target clients and a summary of the results and changes made to the product post pilot phase.
  • Confirm that pilot testing and feedback exist for all types of recent products (including insurance, payments, digital tools etc

3.A.2 The provider uses data to identify patterns of financial behavior by client segment.

Analyze product usage

Product uptake refers to clients buying your product (e.g., purchasing insurance), signing up for a service (e.g., opting into SMS savings reminders), or entering into contract (e.g., opening a savings account). Product usage is different—it refers to actual transactions or interactions between the client and the products/services. The distinction is important, because many providers measure product success by uptake alone, measuring for example, the number of clients who purchase optional insurance or the number of savings accounts opened. Though uptake is an important measure of product suitability, product usage is a better indicator of how valuable your products are to clients.

Monitor whether and how clients are using the products and services that they have purchased or signed up for—especially savings, insurance, and additional services designed to assist them in managing their finances. Transactional data on product usage can give important insights into financial behavior and uncover unmet needs or opportunities and barriers. Low usage should prompt your institution to investigate the reasons that clients are not using the products over time. Transactional data should be analyzed by demographic and socioeconomic segment as it is unlikely that all segments of your client base will be using products in the same way.

Segment client data

Customer segmentation can help divide a heterogeneous market into several smaller, more homogenous markets based on one or more meaningful characteristics. Your institution should segment client data for all products, not just credit. Segmentation acknowledges that even among the “low income” population segment, peoples’ wants, needs, and behaviors are nuanced. Use segmentation to your advantage and to benefit clients. Segmentation Variables Table is a menu of possible segmentation variables to use with existing and potential clients.

Resources for 3.A.2

3.A.2.1 The provider analyzes transactional data (PAR, average loan size, loan repayments, savings deposits and withdrawals) by demographic and socioeconomic segments of its clients.

Segmenting and analyzing transactional data (uptake, amounts, repayment issues, etc.) by client characteristics give insight into the specific needs and behaviors of different client types and allows for more tailored products or specific support.

Sources of information
  • Interviews with marketing/ prod development
  • Interviews with operations
  • Any relevant analytical report used for product development
  • Transaction reports: Reports broken down by client segments on PAR, average loan size, loan repayments, deposits and withdrawal, claims ratios

Scoring guidance
  • The provider should analyse several transactional data across all different products to score a “Yes”.
  • If the provider only analyses transactional data for one product type, then this is scored “partially”.
  • If the provider isn’t able to segment its clients by demographic or socioeconomic characteristics, then this is scored “partially”.
Evidence to provide

Specify the characteristics used to segment the transactional data (age, education, gender, employment status, etc.).

Field examples / Guidance for implementation  

Definition: Transactional data: data that is generated from the clients transacting--loans requested, approved, loan amounts, repayments, savings account openings, savings account withdrawals/deposits, savings balances, etc.

For Financial Service Providers, it can also be useful to integrate the data collected to prepare the transaction: all type of information from clients, captured in MIS, that allows for analysis of repayment and allows for the transaction to take place.

Transactional data are collected on a regular basis, based on tracking of any transaction, and sometimes directly from clients. Data on capacity to repay for example, tend to be reliable because the provider uses them to analyze clients’ repayment capacity. Data collected during a loan application process can also be quite detailed in terms of sources and amount of income for the client and the household. A lot of transactional data pertaining to payments, savings, insurance that are available in the management information system (MIS) are also useful.

Resources for indicator 3.A.2.1

3.A.2.2 The provider analyzes product use (types and frequency) by demographic and socioeconomic segments of its clients.

Understanding which types of clients (men, women, urban, rural, by sector
) use different products provides insight into clients’ needs and preferences. Beyond product access, it is important to understand how clients actually used it.

Sources of information
  • Interviews with marketing/ prod development
  • Interviews with operations
  • Any relevant analytical report used for product development or in marketing
Scoring guidance
  • If the provider isn’t able to segment its clients by demographic or socioeconomic characteristics, then this is scored “partially”.
Evidence to provide

Refer to reports that analyze product usage by client characteristic and how these reports have been used to understand clients’ needs and preferences as well as actual use of products.

Field examples / Guidance for implementation 


  • Providers are often communicating on the percentage of women clients but direct interviews with these women borrowers for example, may show that the loans are actually used by their husband, father, brother, or any other member of the family. In this case, access and usage differ and the needs of the women clients may not be served.
  • To understand how savings clients experience your product, you might segment client use data by demographic data (if available), followed by in-depth interviews with a sample of users. This would tell you whether your product is reaching your intended target clients, how they are using the service, and how it could be improved. Take users of a savings product for example: segmenting savings data (e.g., deposit amount and frequency) by several relevant client characteristics (e.g., age, employment status, and gender) could provide valuable information on how savings habits vary among your clients. Combined with interviews with each of those segments, you might learn that young people prefer to save for specific goals (e.g., education, car purchase) and would respond well to goal-oriented savings products; salaried employees want an easier way to deposit their paychecks; men benefit from savings reminder SMS messages; and women business owners need to be able to check their account balances from their mobile phones.

3.A.3 Collect client feedback on their experiences using products and services

The provider collects client feedback on their experiences using the provider's products and services.

The purpose of collecting feedback is to investigate whether clients use and value the financial products and services as expected and whether they face challenges accessing or using them.

Understanding client satisfaction

Collecting client satisfaction data is one specific type of market research. Your institution should use one or more methods for collecting satisfaction data, which could include a formal client satisfaction survey, client focus group discussions, or meetings between clients and employees to discuss client satisfaction (with the results of these conversations shared with managers).

Collect satisfaction data on an ongoing basis or at least every other year. Select a representative sample of clients to reduce bias. Remember that satisfaction is different from client complaints,69 and you should collect both types of data. In fact, the two can be complementary—for example, you can mine complaint data to better understand an area of low client satisfaction.

Regardless of the collection method you choose, client satisfaction data should investigate your institution’s ability to meet client needs, such as: reducing risks and coping with common emergencies, investing in economic opportunities, and addressing anticipated household needs. In order to investigate your institution’s ability to meet client needs, feedback from clients should address the following:

  • Who is the actual user of the product, and what is the end use of services (e.g., business working capital, consumption smoothing, lump sums for asset building and life events);
  • Overall satisfaction with the customer experience and value of the products;
  • Satisfaction with the convenience, safety, and reliability of delivery channels to access the services;
  • Satisfaction with the timeliness, ease of procedures, conditions, and guarantees to obtain the services;

The results of client satisfaction surveys also allow your institution to determine whether products are used as expected. If there is a gap between how your products are designed to be used, and how they are actually used, then you are at risk of client exit, repayment problems, and/or not meeting your social goals.

Track client retention/exit

Client dormancy, cancellation, and exit are also good indicators of product appropriateness. Track client retention on a regular basis (at least annually) and by different segments (at least: client characteristics, products, branches/areas). Choose a retention formula, and use it consistently over time. Your institution should be able to use the information found in the MIS to calculate the client retention rate. However, first ensure that the MIS has a unique client identification system that allows the institution to distinguish between exit clients and clients who are simply resting between loans (and who eventually re-join), as well as any who have graduated to other institutions that offer larger loans. These important distinctions can affect the retention rate significantly.

As often as your institution calculates the retention rate, it should report the data to the board and senior management.72 A high exit rate across branches and certain segments can be evidence of a product design failure. Segmenting the data by branch, and even by loan officer, helps management focus their attention more precisely on problem areas. In addition to monitoring the rate for potential client and portfolio problems, the board and senior management should determine a level of client retention that they consider “unacceptable”—a level that prompts further action (e.g., interviews with clients to inquire about the problem; placing particular branches/managers on probation; offering emergency loans after a natural disaster).

Understanding client exit and dormancy

One of the best ways to understand the reasons for client dormancy, drop- out, and cancellation is to survey clients who have exited your institution, are dormant, or have canceled a benefit such as a voluntary insurance product. Choose survey questions that will provide management with information they can use to understand the reasons behind client exit and take corrective action. Sample client exit survey questions and examples of how exit data can be used to make operational and product adjustments are available.

Some providers choose to conduct exit surveys on a regular basis. Others have found that exit survey responses tend to be similar over time, so they conduct exit surveys on an annual basis and when they wish to investigate specific problem areas (e.g., low client attendance at group meetings).

Finally, look for ways to augment survey data with other client information including portfolio and demographic information from your institution’s MIS and additional market research gathered from focus groups, client interviews, and other methods. Exit data alone may not be sufficient to make conclusive decisions, but combining exit survey findings with other information provides a more complete picture of the client experience.

Field examples and guidance:

3.A.3.1 The provider conducts client satisfaction surveys. Minimum frequency: every other year

Regular client feedback is essential for making sure products meet client needs. Complaints reports are not sufficient. Satisfaction surveys or other systematic ways of collecting feedback provide insight into how products are actually used, perceived and appreciated by clients. These insights serve to design appropriate products.

Sources of information
  • Client satisfaction reports
  • Interviews with marketing/ product development
  • Interviews with operations
  • Interviews with clients and field staff
Scoring guidance
  • To score “yes” the provider has conducted a general satisfaction survey in the past 24 months and has planned to conduct it again at least within 24 months of the previous one.
  • If the survey focuses on specific products, the sample may be focused only on the users of these products.
  • For general satisfaction surveys, a representative sample should be used.
  • Examples of other systematic means of gathering feedback include client focus group discussions, or meetings between clients and employees to discuss client satisfaction. If this is done on a regular basis, and on a representative sample, this can be scored “yes”.
Evidence to provide

Specify the date of the most recent satisfaction survey and its planned regularity. If relevant, describe other form of client feedback and its regularity. Specify the sample size of the most recent satisfaction survey. Provide a summary of the results.

Field examples / Guidance for implementation 

In case of high risk areas (risks of over-indebtedness, higher levels of client complaints, etc.), client surveys may need to be conducted annually.

Resources for indicator 3.A.3.1

3.A.3.2 The provider conducts interviews with dormant and/or exiting clients to look for evidence of product design failures.

Client drop-outs/dormancy represent lost investment for a provider and thus come at a cost. A high incidence of exits or inactive clients can indicate dissatisfaction, although it is natural for a certain percentage of clients to leave a provider when they no longer need services, when they move, or obtain access to a formal institution offering different services. Providers need to have an approximate idea of how many clients are leaving (or inactive) and why: are they dissatisfied or has financial access worsened their socio-economic situation? Or is it simply that they do not have an immediate financial service need, but may eventually come back to your institution?

Sources of information
  • Drop out surveys
  • Complaint reports
  • Satisfaction and / or exit surveys
  • Interviews with marketing/ prod development
  • Interviews with operations
  • Reports on interviews with exiting or dormant clients
Scoring guidance
  • Conducting drop-out or exit surveys is equivalent to conducting interviews and can be scored “Yes”.  
  • If these surveys or interviews are not used to inform product design and/or marketing and/or operations, then this should be scored “partially”
Evidence to provide

Reports on client exit interviews: Specify how dormancy/ drop-outs data is collected, and with what frequency it is analyzed.

Provide an example of how this information has been used to inform product design, operations and/or customer service.

Resources for indicator 3.A.3.2

3.A.3.3 The provider investigates whether stresses at the household level make it more difficult for clients to use its products and services.

Sometimes, there are factors at the household level that limit clients’ or potential clients’ ability to use products and services. This is particularly true of women who may face opposition from their spouse to set up their own bank account or borrow. Women may also face time constraints from balancing their caregiving and income earning roles that limit their participation in certain products.

Financial stress can also place constraints on women’s time and mobility. The COVID-19 pandemic placed stress on households in several ways from closing off sources of income to limiting mobility to health crises. Providers should investigate these possible constraints and stresses in their client surveys and include this lens in their analysis.

Sources of information
  • Interview with marketing / product development
  • Interview with operations
  • Interview with field staff
  • Client interviews and surveys

To score “yes”, provider should include questions in client surveys that provide information about factors in the household context that may affect product usage or otherwise demonstrate that they have explored this issue in client interviews.

Standard 3.B The provider’s products, services, and channels benefit clients.

Client benefit should be a core focus for your institution. Collecting client feedback and data on client outcomes should serve the purpose of offering suitable and beneficial products and services through appropriate channels. Standard 3B focuses on using client data (market research, client transactional and usage data, client satisfaction, complaints and exit surveys, and outcomes) to make decisions regarding the design and improvement of products and services to benefit clients.

This standard has 5 essential practices:

Resources for Standard 3B

3.B.1 The provider uses insights from client data to design products, services, and delivery channels.

As discussed in the guidance for Standard 3A, your institution should base product/ service/delivery channel decisions on market research. The example below demonstrates a delivery channel decision that was based on data collected through client surveys and MIS analysis.

Delivery Channel Choice Based on Client Needs: An Example

Client Research Data:

Segmented client data show:

  • Clients living in the east live within 2 km of their local branch office, and clients in the west live within 10 km.
  • Clients in the west spend three times more on transportation to branches than clients in the east.
  • Over 85% of clients living in both the east and west own mobile phones.
  • Clients in both regions prefer the convenience of mobile banking.

Delivery Channel Decision Based on Client Needs:

The institution decides to pilot mobile banking, as a majority of its clients has expressed demand for it. It begins with five branches located in the west, as these clients live further from their local branch offices and spend more money on transportation to the branches.

Koperasi Mitra Dhuafa (KOMIDA) in Indonesia offers us another example of how an organization can turn client survey data into actionable insights that inform product innovation.

To complement or deepen their understanding of client needs and behaviors, some institutions use the Human Centered Design (HCD) process to turn client insights into suitable and beneficial products, services and delivery channels.

It is important to note, however, that in addition to offering a suite of products and services designed to fit your clients’ financial lives, it is essential that your employees understand product suitability. Specifically, this means that not only should your employees be intimately familiar with product features, but also that they should be trained in how to match clients with the right products/services. A provider can have perfectly designed products, but in order for clients to benefit from them, staff must be able to assist clients in choosing the appropriate products and options.

Field Examples/Implementation Guidance:

3.B.1.1 The provider designs new products, services (financial and non-financial), and delivery channels using insights from market and pilot studies, client feedback, and client outcomes data.

In order to ensure suitability of your products, your clients are the best source of information. As you gather information through market research, satisfaction surveys, client focus group discussions, complaints and any other feedback system, your products should shape up to best fit their needs.

Sources of information
  • Interviews with marketing/ prod development
  • Interviews with operations
  • Interview with customer service
  • Product development policy (if the organization has one)
  • Product suitability policy (if the organization has one)
Scoring guidance
  • Informal client feedback is not sufficient to score “yes”
  • The score is “partially” if the provider uses only pre-product-launch information (market research, pilot studies) or only post-product-launch (client satisfaction surveys, outcomes data)
  • If you are completing a CP assessment or a certification, client outcomes data are not mandatory to score “yes”.
Evidence to provide
  • Show how the provider management uses results of client feedback to improve products and services.
  • Show how measures are discussed, implemented, and monitored, and records of these actions exist. The provider should evaluate the clients' ability to interact effectively with the technologies it uses to provide services and information.
  • Provide one or more specific examples of how client and market data has been used to inform product or service design.
  • Ensure that you cover all products, services and delivery channels in your analysis.
Resources for indicator 3.B.1.1

3.B.1.2 The provider modifies its existing products and services in response to clients’ needs, feedback, and outcomes.

As for new product design, clients are your best source of information to understand any failures or unsuitable features in your product.

Sources of information
  • Interviews with marketing/ prod development
  • Interviews with operations
  • Interview with customer service
Scoring guidance
  • You need at least one concrete and documented example to score “yes”.
  • If there has not been any such occurrence in the past, investigate whether there is a process that would allow client feedback to be taken into account to modify product or service features and if so, score “partially”.
Evidence to provide
  • Provide one or more specific examples of how client feedback has been used to modify a product or a service  
  • If you scored “partially”, describe the process that would allow such modification.

3.B.1.3 The provider dedicates resources (funds and employee time) for ongoing development and improvement of products, services, and delivery channels.

The implementation of active client-focused product development and improvement requires involvement of staff and resources. This is a strategic decision that should be made in the planning and budgeting process.

Sources of information
  • Budget or financial plan (detailed)
  • Interview with CEO / financial director
  • Interview with marketing / product development
  • Organizational chart  
Scoring guidance
  • If there is a clear budget line allocated to projects linked to market research, client satisfaction surveys and other feedback mechanisms, , then the score is “yes”
  • If there are people dedicated to product development/ improvement but no dedicated funds for research/surveys, or if people and resources are only available occasionally and not on a ongoing basis, then the score is “partially”
Evidence to provide

Specify what is currently implemented (in terms of process and organization) and whether there is a specific budget allocated

3.B.2 The provider removes barriers that prevent access to financial products and services.

Product Suitability and Features

Product suitability is one of the most important ways you can protect clients’ interests and assist them to make economic progress. Unsuitable products and delivery channels create barriers that prevent access.  

Barriers to access are factors that prevent people in your target population from using your products and services. In addition to understanding how current clients and former clients use products and services, your institution should identify why non-clients from your target group do not use your products and services.

Examples of such barriers include product features that do not match client income flows, delivery channels that are not convenient or affordable for clients, product terms that are too complicated for your target population to understand, and collateral or fee requirements that are set too high. Barriers can also include clients’ own behaviors, such as an over-focus on short-term needs, leading to reluctance to save or purchase insurance.

In addition to the products features, your products/services should consider the financial capability of target clients, as this has significant implications for product design. Financial capability refers to a client’s capacity to act in his/her own financial best interest and to select and access financial services that suit his/her needs. Financial capability is based on a client’s literacy, attitudes, skills and consumer behavior. It is important that you understand your target clients’ financial capability and how it affects their use of financial services. The following are examples of how a client’s financial capability influences product uptake and access:

  • For group-based financial products, poorer people are often excluded by group members who believe them to be less desirable, or poorer people may self-exclude based on negative self-perception.
  • Many clients do not want to use delivery channels that allow family members to see or access savings.
  • Some clients are more likely to save if they have set a savings goal, even if it is non-binding.
  • A client might refuse insurance because a premium expenditure is a certain and near-term expense, while the claim benefit is uncertain and distant.
Field Examples/Implementation Guidance

3.B.2.1 The provider offers loan sizes and loan terms that are suited to the client's economic profile, cash flow, and business type.

Providers working with populations who are financially excluded should offer client / MSMEs a range of financial and non financial products and services that support financial inclusion.

To address the challenges of financial inclusion, products should minimize barriers to entry by allowing for small amounts, guarantees adapted to the assets of economically excluded populations, repayment schedules aligned with the target clients’ activities and accessible delivery methods/ channels (e.g., credit/ debit cards, mobile banking, points of service, agents), soft guarantees for MSME, etc.

Sources of information
  • Strategy/business plan
  • Product manuals
  • Product descriptions
  • Interviews with operations manager
  • Interviews with marketing/ product development
  • Interview with CEO
  • Client focus groups (optional)
Scoring guidance
  • If the different products’ characteristics have been adapted to clients’ profiles in the product and operational manuals, the score can be “yes”.  
    The score is “partially” if only some characteristics are adapted (e.g. small size available but strict physical guarantees).
  • Verify consistency with 3B32 on collateral requirements and 3B31 on repayment schedule.
Evidence to provide

Specify how products are designed to promote financial inclusion. For example, are loan sizes or savings sizes small enough to be accessible to poor clients? Are guarantee requirements for MSMEs soft enough to include informal MSMEs? Do repayment schedules make sense given the cash flows of rice farmers? Are there efforts to adapt delivery methodology or channels to meet specificities of the target population?

Field examples / Guidance for implementation 

The following product/service features should match the needs of target clients:

  • Size: Maximum and minimum loan sizes and savings requirements should match target clients’ income, business type, savings habits, etc.
  • Loan terms, repayment schedules and savings withdrawal conditions: Loan terms and repayment schedules should match the cash flows of your target clients, and savings withdrawal conditions should be designed to provide target clients with maximum access to their savings when they need it. Association Base Fandima in Burkina Faso provides an example of how it completely redesigned the terms of its group lending product to reach its target clients.
  • Price: Prices should be affordable to clients. Guidance for standard 6B discusses setting prices that are affordable to clients.
  • Guarantee/collateral requirements: Collateral requirements should match target clients’ access to physical collateral and/or guarantors. VisionFund Uganda provides a useful example of revision to product terms and collateral.
  • Product use requirements: Requirements for product use should be consistent with your target clients’ needs and livelihood activities.

To ensure financial inclusion, some questions can be checked with clients:

  • Did your last loan meet the needs for your last business activity? If not, why not?
  • What about the loan duration and size of the loan? Did it satisfy your needs? Why or why not?
  • Are you able to save on a regular basis? If not, what is limiting your options given the characteristics of our savings products?
Resources for indicator 3.B.2.1

3.B.2.2 The provider offers delivery channels that reduce barriers to access for clients.    

3.B.2.2.1 The provider offers clients multiple delivery channels.
3.B.2.2.2 The provider uses technologies that are appropriate to the digital literacy of the target segments.

Barriers to access can be cultural and/or social, such as: language, distance from the business, literacy requirements, technology skills or device requirements, gender-based requirements
 Proposing multiple channels and ensuring adaptation to limited digital literacy can help in reaching excluded populations.

Sources of information
  • Branch observation
  • Interview with operations
  • Interview with customer service / marketing
  • Client interviews (optional)
Scoring guidance
  • If the provider has several delivery channels, that are adapted to different client profiles, then you can score “yes”
  • If your analysis finds that there is at least one barrier to access for a given segment of target client, then it is “partially”
  • If digital products do not take into account the capabilities of the clients (digital literacy level, access to digital channels, etc.), the score of the detail is “no”.
Evidence to provide

Describe the delivery channels and how they are adapted to the target clients of the provider.

Field examples / Guidance for implementation 

Delivery channels: Delivery channels should be affordable, convenient, and reliable for your target clients (e.g., mobile banking, smart cards/prepaid cards, points of sale, ATMs, or agents for remote areas if necessary). They should be adapted to overcome cultural and/or social barriers such as language, literacy levels, gender roles, etc. FundaciĂłn Genesis Empresarial provides an example of delivery channel innovation and adaptation to reduce barriers for its clients: the provider dedicates resources (funds and employee time) for ongoing development and improvement of products, services, and delivery channels.

3.B.2.3 If the provider offers savings, it sets minimum requirements and withdrawal conditions that are compatible with the cash flows of the target segments

Clients may find it difficult to access saving products that have high or strict requirements in terms of initial deposit, maintaining a minimum balance, account management fees, withdrawal fees, or other conditions limiting withdrawals.

Sources of information
  • Deposit or saving product description / brochure / marketing material
Scoring guidance
  • This indicator can be scored “NA” (not applicable) ONLY in the following cases: a/ the provider doesn’t offer savings, current or deposit accounts
  • If there are no conditions set for saving or deposit accounts, the answer can be “yes”, with details in the comments.
Evidence to provide

Refer to the document setting the conditions and describe them briefly and how they are a not a barrier for the target clients.

3.B.3 The provider's products, services, and channels protect clients from harm.

Providers should take care to ensure that their products, services and delivery channels protect clients from harm. Some of the key areas to review to ensure they are aligned with best practices for client protection include:

  • Repayment schedules
  • Collateral and guarantor requirements
  • Currency risk
  • Social risks
  • Voluntary insurance
  • Monitoring of agent network and digital channels

Repayment schedules

Repayment schedules should match the cash flows of your target clients and their type of business. If repayment schedules are not aligned with the clients’ business cash flow and returns, the clients may be unable to pay on time, and suffer harm as a result of penalties, negative credit bureau reporting, and they may even fall into over-indebtedness. This does not only concern agricultural loans. You should have the capacity to offer flexible repayment schedules to all your clients to account for any kind of seasonality of income that may happen in any business or household.

Guarantee/collateral requirements:

An institutional policy should describe acceptable and unacceptable pledges of collateral and provide clear guidelines for how collateral is registered and valued. Base the policy on local norms, you should even go a step beyond and never accept items that would create severe hardship or affect the client’s earning ability or deprive the clients from essential needs. Determine the value of collateral based on a verifiable market price/resale value, verified by a manager or credit committee. The collateral value should not be excessive as regards to the loan amount (eg: pledging a house for a $1000 USD loan). If the clients have no other asset to offer as a collateral, find alternative ways to guarantee their loan (eg: guarantor, pledge on vehicle

Currency Risk

Managing foreign exchange (“FX”) rate risk is a complex task, but it is important to protect your clients from FX risk to the extent possible. Currency mismatch occurs when an FSP holds assets (such as loans) denominated in the local currency of the FSP’s country of operation but has hard currency debt financing its balance sheet.80 In this scenario, providers may pass on currency risk by lending in hard currency to their customers or by indexing their lending interest rates to a given foreign exchange rate. However, because borrowers face higher than expected repayment amounts if the local currency is devalued and could suffer harm, providers should consider carefully other options to mitigate this risk before passing it on to clients and justify the decision to do so.81

The most direct way to protect clients from FX risk is to lend to them in local currency to the greatest extent possible. Protecting your institution against FX risk is also essential to safeguarding clients. If you do borrow funds in hard currency, you should develop a strategy that closely monitors and assesses your FX exposure, supplemented by practices designed to help shield your institution from FX risk that don’t involve the client.83

The key ratio to monitor is the Foreign Exchange Risk (FER) Ratio, which calculates exposure to currency fluctuations using assets and liabilities, according to the following formula:

(Total Hard-currency Assets – Total Hard-currency Liabilities) / Total Net Assets

A higher ratio reflects a higher proportion of hard-currency assets relative to hard- currency liabilities, and therefore less vulnerability to currency fluctuations. An FSP can set a target range for its FER ratio and then closely monitor its balance sheet to gauge its risk exposure.

In addition to monitoring your exposure, the following practices can help shield your FSP from FX risk:

  • Maintain a hard-currency deposit account (including setting a minimum hard-currency cash reserve threshold relative to hard-currency liabilities).
  • Borrow in local instead of hard currency whenever possible, even if local rates are somewhat higher, including drawing on a local line of credit for short-term needs.
  • Engage in “back-to-back borrowing,” in which an FSP deposits proceeds from a hard-currency loan into a hard currency account at a local bank, which then serves as collateral for a local currency loan.

If you do choose to pass the FX risk on to clients by lending in hard currency, you have an obligation to inform clients of the risk using cost scenarios that help them understand how much more they will pay if the local currency is devalued.

Friendship Bridge in Guatemala offers an example of how you can manage your FX risk responsibly while minimizing risks to clients.

Social Risks

Some types of client businesses such as the sale of alcohol and nightclubs carry high social risks for the community. Lending to these types of businesses requires additional due diligence to mitigate risk to the client and their community.

Social risks include child labor, forced labor, gender-based violence, etc. Depending on the provider’s portfolio breakdown by sector, social (and environmental risks) can be checked from IFC E&S risks by Industry sector.

Voluntary Insurance

Voluntary insurance are all the insurance products that are not bundled with the loan (eg: insurance that covers the loan in case of death). Clients usually do not have the tools, data, or skills to assess the value of the insurance products offered to them. It is the provider’s responsibility to ensure that all insurance products offered deliver value to clients. Details about how to assess the value of insurance can be found here.

Monitor Agents and Networks

While agent banking can help you reach more clients and deliver new services, you give up some control when using agents versus your own staff. This phenomenon is heightened when you use agents in conjunction with digital financial services. Many users are not only new to both formal finance and technology, they also live precarious financial lives that allow little room for error.84 It becomes critical that you recognize the risks associated with agents and digital channels in your market. For many providers, these risks include:

  • Inability to transact due to network downtime;
  • Insufficient agent liquidity or float, which also affects clients’ ability to transact;
  • Transaction mistakes that are difficult or impossible to correct;
  • Agent fraud that targets clients (e.g., charging clients extra fees);
  • Loss of client data privacy or security;
  • Insufficient recourse mechanisms available at the agent; and
  • Confusing user interfaces (e.g., mobile banking menus).

Through close monitoring—typically by Internal Audit/internal control—you should be aware of potential risks and recurrent problems. Make sure that not only do routine risk management procedures include checks on agents and networks, but that you collect client feedback on agents and networks as part of your ongoing client satisfaction monitoring. Keep in mind that agents and agent managers frequently underreport problems.

Your solutions to agent/network problems will depend on your capacity and the availability of cost-effective solutions. In some markets, for example, there is not an easy or low-cost fix for network downtime. A starting point for preventing problems is to make sure that agents are sufficiently trained in client-facing issues. Though you are not responsible for training agents who are managed by a third party (e.g., agent network manager), you are responsible for verifying that the third party trains their own representatives on at least the following topics:

  • Fair and responsible treatment of clients. The training is aligned with the provider’s code of conduct and spells out unacceptable behavior.
  • The provider’s debt collections practices and loan recovery procedures.
  • Not using aggressive sales techniques and to respect clients’ right to refuse products.
  • Loan analysis and the credit approval process.
  • How the complaints mechanism works, the role of complaints staff, how to appropriately manage complaints until they are resolved, and how to refer them to the appropriate person for investigation and resolution.
  • Policies and processes related to privacy of client data
Resources for 3.B.3

3.B.3.1 The provider tailors repayment schedules to the client's cash flows and type of business.

Repayment schedules should match the cash flows of target clients and their activities to facilitate repayment. Credit products should be designed to require principal to be paid down regularly and or with flexible repayment schedules based on client cash flows. The only credit products that may not require principal to be paid regularly are loans with bullet payments (often agricultural loans associated with seasonality).

Sources of information
  • Product descriptions
  • Interviews with marketing/ product development
  • Interviews with operations
  • Interviews with field staff
  • Interview with MIS department
  • Samples of repayment schedules for each loan product
  • Credit manual/loan approval process and evaluation forms
Scoring guidance
  • This indicator should be scored in line with 4.A.1.2: if the provider doesn’t conduct a cash flow analysis to evaluate a repayment capacity analysis, then here it cannot be “yes”
Evidence to provide

If any products do not fit the criteria, specify the product and why.

3.B.3.2 The provider's collateral and guarantor requirements do not create severe hardship for clients.

3.B.3.2.1 The provider has a list of assets that cannot be pledged as collateral, which includes items that would create severe hardship or significant loss of income earning ability for the client.    
3.B.3.2.2 Collateral valuation is based on a verifiable market price/resale value. The credit committee or second level approval verifies the collateral valuation.    
3.B.3.2.3 The minimum requirement for the value of collateral does not exceed two times the loan amount, and cash collateral does not exceed 20% of loan amount.
3.B.3.2.4 If the provider collects title documents, it returns them to the client once the loan is repaid.

Collateral requirements are part of product design. They should align with target clients’ access to physical collateral and/or guarantors. Collateral should not include items that would create severe hardship or deprive the client of the ability to earn income. “Soft” collateral reduces entry barriers for the poor and excluded and can foster a relationship of trust between the provider and its clients.

Sources of information
  • Product descriptions
  • Credit manual
  • Interviews with operations
  • Interviews with loan officers
  • Interviews with legal department
  • Client focus groups (optional)
Scoring guidance
  • If the loan is to buy equipment, then this equipment can be pledged; but if it is not , then working equipment cannot be pledged
  • The only case where these details can be scored NA is if the provider uses only group guarantee as collateral, and does not use physical collateral/assets or cash collateral at all
  • If the provider does not take physical collateral, but requires a guarantee deposit or a cash collateral whether paid upfront or deducted from the loan amount), you need to score 3.B.3.2.3 (cannot be NA) which will be the indicator score.
Evidence to provide
  • Verify that a list of assets exists. Discuss with loan officers how collateral valuation is done.
  • Specify where collateral requirements are defined. Briefly describe the collateral valuation process.
Field Examples/Implementation Guidance

If conducting client focus groups or interviews some questions to explore:

Do you know anyone who has had difficulties repaying the loan? What has happened? Do you think this is fair?


Assets that deprive borrowers of their basic survival capacity: goods that are necessary for day to day living, such as clothing, housewares required to feed a household; telephone; bed; radiators.

Land titles are generally not appropriate collateral for small loans and are an example of over-collateralizing a loan at great risk to the client. However, in some contexts, this is allowed by law and therefore the law prevails. In these cases, auditors can highlight the risk to clients and suggest that the provider seeks out more appropriate forms of collateral.

Guarantor requirements can also create hardship. If only salaried individuals or landowners may be guarantors, often there are very few of those in a given community. This gives those individuals a lot of power over clients seeking loans, especially women.

3.B.3.3 The provider accepts alternative forms of collateral from clients whose gender or age creates barriers to access in the local context.

Alternative forms of collateral may be using a guarantor or pledging a vehicle or any other asset that are taking into account the specific barriers of target groups such as women or young people.

Sources of information
  • Product descriptions
  • Credit manual
  • Interviews with operations
  • Interviews with loan officers
  • Interviews with legal department
  • Client focus groups (optional)
Scoring guidance
  • To score “yes”, alternative forms of collateral for women, young, etc. can be cited. It can be “yes” if the provider requires no guarantee or collateral anyway.
  • The answer is “partially” if it only covers some of the target groups, or if the collateral are only partially adapted to the target groups.
Evidence to provide

Identify whether there are specific client segments that could be constrained by the collateral requirements. Explain how the types of collateral that the provider requires are an alternative that does not create a barrier to access for women, young, etc.

3.B.3.4 If the provider lends in hard currency, it informs clients of the foreign exchange risk using cost scenarios. The provider can also justify the decision not to lend in local currency.

Foreign currency loans increase client risk due to devaluation risk. If the provider has access to local currency funding and the borrower’s operations are only in local currency, then loans should be in local currency. If the clients’ activities are linked to foreign currencies (exportation for example), then foreign currency loans can make sense. In this case, the provider should make sure the borrower knows the risk, and repayment capacity analysis should take into account devaluation risk.

Sources of information
  • Credit manual
  • Product descriptions
  • Interviews with operations manager
  • Interviews with financial manager
  • Client focus groups (optional)
Scoring guidance
  • Score N/A if there is no foreign currency lending
Evidence to provide

For loans denominated in a foreign currency different from the main currency of the client source of income, demonstrate that the provider clearly explains pricing and cost scenarios to the clients, including a pessimistic scenario.

Please indicate the share of the portfolio in foreign currencies and how foreign exchange risk is addressed/ explained to clients.

Field examples / Guidance for implementation 

Questions for clients:

  • If conducting Focus group, these are the type of questions that can be checked:
  • Do you receive loans in hard currency?
  • What is the currency used for your business (local or same hard currency)?
  • Did the provider explain how devaluation or valuation of the currency can affect your repayment?
Resources for indicator 3.B.3.4

3.B.3.5 If the client business is related to sectors known to have high social risks, the provider conducts additional due diligence to mitigate risk.

The social risks associated with financial service providers can remain low partly due to the limited size of the operation and the industry sector. However, in some cases clients may be involved with handling dangerous substances such as pesticides that can pose health or environmental risks or working in sectors subject to health risks or child / forced labor. Additional due diligence involves the identification, quantification and assessment of social risks associated with some sectors.

Scoring guidance
  • The score is “yes” if high social risks sectors are identified, and related efforts in due diligence are conducted by the field officers, information tracked, and mitigation measures incentivized for the clients.
  • The score is “partially” if some measures are taken but not on a formal,systematic and regular basis or if efforts to mitigate risks are not followed over time.
Sources of information
  • Classification of risks for the provider’s portfolio
  • Credit manual
  • Interviews with operations, with loan officers
Evidence to provide

Show how the high social risks sector are identified, and which specific measures are taken to strengthen the due diligence process

Field examples / Guidance for implementation 

The provider can refer to guidance by sector proposed

  • by FMO: Social and Environmental Management guidance – Part B- Field guide also available in French
  • by IFC: factsheets of E&S risk by Industry sector, also available in French.

To understand child labor, forced labor and human trafficking risk, you can download the Sweat and Toil app for your phone or read the reports here. The app summarizes data found in 3 reports that are updated annually (as they are due to US Congress): Data and research in this app are taken from ILAB's three flagship reports: Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor; List of Goods Produced by Child Labor or Forced Labor; and List of Products Produced by Forced or Indentured Child Labor.

Resources for indicator 3.B.3.5

3.B.3.6 If the provider offers voluntary insurance, it assesses the value of insurance products to clients.

3.B.3.6.1 The provider analyzes data on product use: product uptake, claims ratio, renewal rate, and coverage ratio.
3.B.3.6.2 The provider analyzes data on how it processes claims: claims rejection ratio, average time for claim's resolution, reasons for rejection of claims, reasons for lapses in coverage.
3.B.3.6.3 The provider analyzes data on client experience with insurance: demographics of those covered, complaints, client satisfaction.
3.B.3.6.4 If the claims ratio for life insurance is below 60%, the provider asks the insurance provider to justify the reason.
Scoring guidance
  • All the listed ratios need to be analysed to score “yes” on 3.B.3.6.1 and 3.B.3.6.2
Sources of information
  • Interview with the department in charge of the insurance products
  • Insurance monitoring reports
Field examples / Guidance for implementation


  • Voluntary insurance are all insurance products that are not bundled with the loan.
  • Life insurance is where the insurer promises to pay a sum of money to a pre-determined beneficiary when the insured person dies or after a pre-determined period. Because this indicator is about “voluntary insurance” you are not assessing here a compulsory credit life insurance, bundled with the loan, that would cover the loan in case of death of the borrower.    
  • Claims ratio is the total amount of claims paid out by the insurer divided by the total amount of premium paid to the insurer. This ratio means that the insurer should be paying out benefits of at least 60% of what it earned from the insurance product, as a whole. If not, it means that the premium price could be lowered.
Resources for indicator 3.B.3.6

3.B.3.7 If the provider uses agents, it monitors agent liquidity and whether agents respect client protection practices and has mechanisms to address problems as needed.

Agent liquidity means that clients should be able to access funds at agents at all times. Client protection practices that should be checked should be along the lines of the client protection Standards

Scoring guidance
  • All elements of this indicator should be compliant to score “yes”
  • If the provider does not check one of the elements, then it is “partially”. “partially”

3.B.3.8 If the provider uses digital channels, it monitors whether the following problems occur and has mechanisms to address problems as needed:

3.B.3.8.1 Transaction errors such as transaction that are not completed or are incorrectly completed; funds transferred to an incorrect account; funds sent to a receiver who was not able to cash out the funds within a certain period of time    
3.B.3.8.2 System malfunctions such as extended outage, scheduled downtime, or processing delays

Digital channels are all channels that rely on technology to deliver a service. For instance payment cards, money transfers, digital loans, online banking websites or apps etc

Sources of information
  • Interview with operations
  • Interview with IT department

3.B.4 The provider's products and services help clients reduce their vulnerability to shock and smooth consumption.

Reducing Client Risks

Your institution should consider how it can offer a diverse or flexible set of products/services that clients can use to reduce risks and cope with common emergencies. Your institution may offer the products directly or indirectly through partners. Such products include:

  • Loans to cope with emergencies and reduce risks, including but not limited to emergency loans;
  • Rescheduling or restructuring of loans when appropriate;
  • Savings to cope with emergencies and reduce risks, including products that allow clients to withdraw money rapidly and without complicated procedures;
  • Voluntary insurance, including but not limited to coverage for credit-life, life, health, assets (e.g., home), and agriculture;
  • Payments/remittances services that allow clients to quickly receive funds from other people when needed;
  • Training services to strengthen clients’ capacities to prevent risks (e.g., health education), or to strengthen their capacities to cope with risks (e.g. women’s empowerment, or business skills); and
  • Funds or reserves earmarked in case of collective disaster, such as an emergency fund against which cooperative members can borrow at zero interest.
Resources for 3.B.4

3.B.4.1 The provider offers products and services for basic needs, such as housing, energy, and education.

Financial service providers should support households in getting access to basic needs to ensure the minimum required quality of their living standards.

Scoring Guidance

This indicator may be ”yes”  either if the provider  offers targeted, specially designed products to meet specific basic needs  

  • Or if the provider can demonstrate that they have products and services that are flexible enough to meet basic needs.
  • If there are no tailored products and existing products have either use restrictions or terms that would limit clients’ ability to use them to meet basic needs, this indicator is scored “no”.
Source of information
  • Product descriptions
Evidence to provide
  • Product manuals and marketing materials should include products and product terms that allow clients to meet basic needs.
  • The general loan or savings account products should not have use restrictions and have flexible enough terms that they can be used to meet basic needs

3.B.4.2 The provider offers products and services that help clients maintain stable levels of expenditure despite income fluctuation or emergencies. Select all that apply:

3.B.4.2.1 Emergency loans
3.B.4.2.2 Savings with an easy withdrawal process
3.B.4.2.3 Voluntary insurance
3.B.4.2.4 Non-financial services

Reducing vulnerability calls for financial and non-financial services that allow clients to cope with common risks and emergencies. Understanding clients’ situations through market research makes it possible to design products that allow clients to manage risks.

Sources of information
  • Credit and Other Product Manual
  • Client satisfaction survey
  • Market research reports
  • Interviews with operations manager
  • Interviews with marketing/ product development manager
  • Client focus groups (optional)
Evidence to provide
  • Having compulsory savings does not count as compliance. Savings must be voluntary and withdrawals easily accessible.
  • Definition: Emergency loans may be labelled as such, or may be “regular” loans that can be given over a short term (less than 3 months), a very fast turnaround time, and that do not require a specific purpose, to allow clients to quickly address unforeseeable circumstances.
  • Definition: Types of voluntary insurance include: credit life, life, home owners’, agriculture, health, workplace

3.B.5 The provider's products and services help clients achieve their goals.

Products and Services That Help Clients Achieve Their Goals

Your institution should consider how products and services create benefits for clients, including the ability to invest in economic opportunities and address anticipated household needs at each life cycle stage. These products can include:

  • Business loans, such as start-up business capital, working capital, lines of credit, and alternative forms of collateral to facilitate productive loans (e.g., leasing machinery for a business); and
  • Loans for specific life cycle events such as weddings, funerals, education, and home improvements
  • Savings products that address life cycle needs such as youth savings, educational savings, housing savings, wedding savings, funeral savings, and pension savings.

This example demonstrates a product decision based on the provider’s analysis of client needs that helps clients to address anticipated household needs.

3.B.5.1 The provider offers training to clients in areas where they have skill gaps that prevent them from achieving their goals.

A wide range of well-adapted trainings and business development services can help clients be prepared to seize economic opportunities, anticipate household needs and achieve their economic and social goals.

Sources of information
  • Training manual
  • Product/training program description
  • Interviews with operations manager, branch managers
  • Client focus groups (optional)
Scoring guidance
  • To score “yes”, the provider should have a strategic and operational approach to training and non financial services, accessible to a large number of clients.
  • The score is “partially” if trainings are only accesible to a small proportion of clients (less than 20%) or if there is only anecdotical evidence of access to trainings.
Evidence to provide

Specify the training plan of the provider, and the number of clients who have access to these trainings.

3.B.5.2 The provider offers products/services that enable clients to invest in economic opportunities such as business loans for start-up, working capital, and investment.

A wide range of well-adapted products can translate into a wide range of possibilities for clients to seize economic opportunities.

Sources of information
  • Credit manual
  • Product description
  • Interviews with operations manager, branch managers
  • Client focus groups (optional)
Scoring guidance
  • The score is “yes” if the list of products integrates business loans, working capital, investment, with a large range of possible size and maturity.
  • The score is “partially” if there is only one or 2 products for productive purpose, not representing the majority of the gross loan portfolio.
Evidence to provide

Specify the product's purpose and terms that allow it to fit with productive/economic opportunity needs.

Field Examples/implementation guidance

Providing wide range of business loans may mean making higher-risk loans for the provider in investing in innovative sectors, value chains or start-up.

Short-term loans with monthly repayment are poorly suited to many productive activities. Providers are better positioned to serve artisan and agricultural sectors, for example, by adapting terms, conditions and loan amounts to the specificities of these sectors.

The provider can also offer loans to entrepreneurs, linked with non financial services for business skills. Examples of other products include : home improvement loans or housing loans, fixed term deposits, leasing options, pension services, loans for agriculture, enterprise skills development, business development services, SME loans, checking accounts, etc.

3.B.5.3 The provider offers products/services for major life events such as weddings, maternity care/child birth, housing, higher education, and funerals.

A wide range of well-adapted products and services can translate into a wide range of possibilities for clients to address anticipate household needs at each life cycle stages.

Sources of information
  • Credit and savings manual
  • Product description
  • Interviews with operations manager, branch managers
  • Client focus groups (optional)
Scoring guidance
  • The score is “yes” if the list of products (loans and savings) integrates different options to answer to needs related to major life events.
  • The score is “partially” if there is no specific products for anticipated life events, making it complex for clients to use them when needed (example: only one type of term savings that cannot be withdrawn on the short run for funerals, but can be used for education), not representing the majority of the gross loan portfolio.
Evidence to provide

Specify the product or service’s purpose and terms that allow it to fit with life cycle needs.

Resources for indicator 3.B.5.3