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Karandaaz Digital Experiments Supporting Innovation in Digital Financial Services

Islamabad 23rd Nov 2020: Karandaaz Pakistan with the support of Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) and UK’s Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) is running a Digital Experiments Program to support the digital financial service (DFS) players. This program facilitates the private sector institutions to undertake experiments using the A/B testing research technique to address the barriers related to uptake and active usage of digital accounts. This is an ongoing program and interested DFS providers such as mobile money operators, fintech, and startups working in the realm of DFS can apply at any time through Karandaaz website https://bit.ly/3e4BKIQ. A special focus of these experiments is on testing ideas, products, services, and incentive structures that can accelerate the uptake by excluded and underserved segments, especially rural women The key areas of interest for the experiments are the conversion of inactive/non-users to active users through variation in communication strategies; increase in user’s engagement on digital accounts by product level changes; testing of price elasticity on payment transactions by end-users; and promotion of mobile account usage by conducting financial inclusion focused experiments, especially targeting women.

Under this program, Karandaaz supported an experiment with Hysab Kytab, a fintech that provides digital financial management solutions for individuals and banks. As part of the experiment, Hysab Kytab developed a tailored version of the application for women through an intricate design and communication strategy.

Ali Sarfraz, CEO Karandaaz said, “Karandaaz is actively seeking to forge more partnerships with market players offering digital financial services. Under its Digital Experiments Program, we encourage our selected partners to think out of box and offer innovative solutions to spur the uptake and growth of digital financial services. We support our partners with technical and financial resources in making sure that those solutions have an intuitive design for a friendly customer experience and long-term adaptability.”

Rehan Akhtar, Chief Digital Officer of Karandaaz said, “The overarching goal of this program is to collect the learnings within Pakistan’s context through these experiments and share the insights with other technology brands, enabling them to build DFS for specifically for women. This particular experiment with Hysab Kytab gauged the impact of gender-inclusive design and experience interventions in the mobile application on the adoption and retention of the app by women as well as on the uptake of the DFS in general.”

Yasir Ilyas, Global Head at Hysab Kytab said, “We have discovered that after the inclusion of gender integrated design in our app, there was a sharp decline in user acquisition cost by over 40 percent. Similarly on-boarding success rate went up by 71 to 75 percent between the old and the new user interface and we also saw a 10 percent user conversion rate. This shows how important it is to focus on human-centred designs when developing an ad and we are thankful to Karandaaz for providing us this support and hope that more developers in the technology and digital financial services sector will benefit from the learnings that we were able to gather.”

Financial inclusion is on the rise globally and the 2017 Global Findex database shows that 1.2 billion adults have obtained an account since 2011, including 515 million since 2014. Between 2014 and 2017, the share of adults who have an account with a financial institution or through a mobile money service rose globally from 62 percent to 69 percent. In developing economies, the share rose from 54 percent to 63 percent. Yet, women in developing economies remain 9 percentage points less likely than men to have a bank account.

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