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Enabling Customer Empowerment: Choice, Use, and Voice

The use of digital channels is changing the way financial services can be delivered to poor people. Growing mobile phone usage and the development of agent networks enable customer access to timely, low-cost digital financial services (DFS)1 (World Bank 2014). Despite this, active use of DFS is relatively low. This Brief, addresses the inactivity problem faced by many financial service providers (FSPs) and some of the underlying causes related to customers’ experiences. We explore how empowering customers can help address this issue and the role FSPs can play. This exploratory Brief reflects our hypothesis that customer empowerment—here defined as a process that builds customer trust and confidence through an interactive relationship between providers and their BRIEF customers—can lead to a win-win for both providers and customers.

CGAP is a global partnership of more than 30 leading development organizations that works to advance the lives of poor people through financial inclusion. Using action-oriented research, we test, learn and share knowledge intended to help build inclusive and responsible financial systems that move people out of poverty, protect their economic gains and advance broader development goals. We research and experiment to achieve proof of concept and extract lessons that can be built to scale by our partners, who apply our insights in the marketplace.

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