The elderly and widowed in Bangladesh face the challenge of accessing digital financial services (DFS), which can make their lives easier, safer, and more empowered. But many of them have trouble reading and seeing, which stops them from using mobile banking apps.
The MOMODa Foundation wants to solve this problem by starting the THRIFT project. The project will give free reading glasses and DFS training to the elderly and widows who get government allowances in Bangladesh. The project will see if this will make them more confident and willing to use DFS, and also happier.
The project has three steps: a pre-pilot survey, a social screening survey, and a randomized controlled trial (RCT). The pre-pilot survey was done in the Kurigram district, where 20 people who get government allowances were asked about their vision, money skills, and DFS use.
MOMODa Foundation is conducting the Transforming Households with Refraction and Innovative Financial Technology (THRIFT) project with the aim of examining the impact of providing free reading glasses and digital financial services (DFS) training on the adoption of mobile banking among elderly recipients of government Old Age Allowance (OAA) and Widowed Allowance (WA) in Bangladesh. To gather insights, a pre-pilot survey involving 20 beneficiaries of old-age and widow allowances was completed in Kurigram. Based on this initial survey, approximately 3,000 social screening surveys are estimated to be required to identify the 484 beneficiaries for the final phase.
The pilot phase includes the launch of the NDC app, encompassing tests for numeracy, dexterity, and cognition. Furthermore, the development of another mobile financial services app is underway to support the project. The pilot phase includes launching the NDC app and developing another mobile financial services app. Training sessions have been conducted, and surveys for Pilot Studies 1, 2, and 3 were successfully completed. A training session for baseline data collection has been scheduled from June 14th to June 18th, 2023. This session equipped the team with the necessary tools and techniques to ensure a successful and rigorous data collection process.
Sample Size: 484
Type of Research: RCT
Field of Research: Financial inclusion
Stage of Research: Pilot ongoing
Dr. Atonu Rabbani (Professor, BRAC James P Grant School of Public Health),
Dr. Abu S Shonchoy (Associate Professor, Florida International University), and
Dr. Nathan Congdon (Professor, Queen’s University Belfast).
Queen’s University Belfast