Managing money is hard, and it's harder when you live on less than $2 a day. Across the world, some two billion people don’t access formal financial products, services, and institutions, so when they need a loan to get a small business off the ground, a plan to save for school, or a safer way to send money back home, they’re relying at best on friends and at worst on loan sharks and other predatory lenders.
And who can blame them? The truth is, the formal financial sector very rarely designs its products and services with the needs of the poor in mind.
At IDEO.org, we’re working in the US and internationally to design financial products and services explicitly for low-income communities. We believe that better information, better tools, and more human-centered products can transform lives and give people a chance to control their financial futures. We’re out to increase savings, remove barriers to credit, ease the burden of debt, and help people weather unexpected financial shocks. And we believe that just the right mix of technology, innovation, and empathy is the way to get there.
We're partnering with major players in the financial world to bring new, human-centered products to a set of consumers who might otherwise go without. From JPMorgan Chase Foundation to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to mobile network operators to insurers, we're helping established systems and networks design for new markets and opportunities.