Newly Developed APP Boosts Financial Inclusion
Financial literacy supports individuals in their quest to better manage their economic health and to explore products and services offered by formal institutions. This in turn accelerates the pace of financial inclusion and resilience. It affects not just a household, but the entire economy.
A survey conducted by NABARD1. assessed that 9.4% of individuals from rural areas and around 13.2% from semi-urban areas in India reported having been exposed to any session on financial education or training. It is no surprise that India was ranked 23rd in the Visa2. 2012 Global Financial Literacy Barometer assessment conducted in 28 markets. It highlights the critical need to invest in financial literacy. Lack of financial literacy stifles the uptake of financial inclusion-related essential services. It, therefore, affects financial resilience as well as economic mobility.
NABARD All India Financial Inclusion Survey 2016-17
Visa conducted the 2012 Global Financial Literacy Barometer survey between February and April of 2012 with 25,500 participants in 28 markets. In India, 923 participants between the ages of 18 and 64 were surveyed through face-to-face interviews.
The Enriche team at Barefoot College International helped design ‘Aage Badhein’, an app intended to increase knowledge on elements critical to enhancing household financial resilience. Developed in partnership with Fundación Capital, Aage Badhein does exactly what the name states– it provides support to ‘Move Forward’. It aims to reduce perceived barriers, mistrust and indifference towards the adoption of positive financial practices. This, in turn, enables users to make astute money-related decisions. They can then become active participants in their journey towards financial independence.
Aage Badhein’s USP lies in the ethnographic research that constituted the foundation of its development process. Customizations based on learning directly from potential users were critical to making this self-paced app suitable for both a literate and non-literate audience. The user interface caters to a Hindi-speaking audience who have minimal to no experience with digital services and devices.
Financial Literacy Extends to Youth
The content and functionality of the app are suitable for a wide audience. This includes youth preparing for an independent role in life or a student ready to create a strong foundation of financial management early in her life. Household members desirous of improving their family’s financial strength to reach their aspirations can also benefit.
We piloted Aage Badhein In early 2021 with over 400 women from rural areas. Most were first-time users of a tablet and a digital app. The digital solution generated a large amount of interest in the communities. We found that using an interactive story-based approach along with technology enticed users to go through the entire curriculum.
Measurable Success and Expansion of the Initiative
We captured their success in the post-assessment results. They showed an average knowledge increase of 69% across all the areas covered in the app. Furthermore, 90% of the users found that the app’s audio instructions were easy to follow. A majority of the users stated that they would share their knowledge with ten people or more in their community.
Aage Badhein supports individuals in their quest to better manage their economic health and to explore products and services offered by formal institutions. This accelerates the pace of financial inclusion and resilience. Thus it affects not just households, but the entire economy. Our next goal is to amplify this initiative and offer it to hundreds of more civilians.
You can support this new initiative by contributing through our Donate page.