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Customer-Centric Focus Enables Financial Inclusion

Life-changing impact demonstrated by one woman's story.

In support of its commitment to financial inclusion, MetLife Foundation partners with organization to bring services such as savings, microinsurance and credit to communities in need around the world.

Like MetLife's focus on customer centricity, these nonprofit organizations focus on their clients, listening to their needs and tailoring products and services to help them pursue more from life.

Once such partner is MicroSave, an organization dedicated to enabling a world in which all people have access to high-quality, affordable, financial services. MicroSave helps financial institutions understand their customers' perceptions, aspirations and needs in order to design products that can be delivered conveniently through local channels and can transform their lives.

Customer Centric FocusThe life-changing impact of financial inclusion delivered through the lens of customer centricity is illustrated in the story of Siddiqua, a widow in India

Following her husband's death, Siddiqua struggled to raise three young children, initially living off of the kindness of others. She realized though, that in order to provide for her family she needed to become self-reliant.

Despite a meager income earned from raising chickens, like all mothers, Siddiqua wanted to ensure her children had enough food, medical care and an education. Her first steps toward financial independence were made possible when a microfinance institution (MFI) began offering loans in her village.

With the loans, Siddiqua purchased a cow and made regular income selling milk. This enabled her, for the first time, to provide three meals a day for her children. Schooling however, remained a dream and any time someone got sick it created a financial crisis for her.

Enter MicroSave, which came to the village on behalf of the MFI and invited several women – including Siddiqua – to discuss their specific needs and find out how people in the community managed their finances. Soon after, the MFI began offering savings products that specifically addressed these needs. One allowed clients to commit to save a small amount on a regular basis, and the other to save and withdraw at will.

The options provided Siddiqua exactly what she needed to complement her borrowing, save for the future and support her family.

"They understood me and everything that I need," says Siddiqua of the MFI. "I am so happy and feel that now I can face the future with confidence, knowing that my children will never have to go through the suffering I faced."


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