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Mystery Shopping for Financial Services

Mystery shopping is a tool that involves sending consumers to places of business, government agencies, or other service providers to simulate a typical customer inquiry. By conducting mystery shopping visits, we can better understand important financial inclusion issues such as differentiated treatment of low-income or inexperienced consumers, quality of product advice, and compliance with consumer protection rules such as pricing transparency and disclosure. This Technical Guide from CGAP summarizes in an easy “how-to” manner CGAP’s experience conducting mystery shopping for a range of products. The guide provides information on how to design, execute, and analyze mystery shopping exercises for financial services. This includes descriptions of the several stages of implementing a mystery shopping program, and actual field guides such as questionnaires, shopper training materials and sales staff surveys.

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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