What Do We Really Know About Financial Behavior in Rural Areas?

> Posted by Center Staff
The key message of the Center’s recently released “Opportunities and Obstacles to Financial Inclusion” report is – to revise Bill Clinton’s campaign slogan – “It’s the client, stupid.” The hundreds of industry leaders surveyed for the report conveyed a clear message that we must grasp client needs.
But taking the “know your client” mission to a level of greater detail, how much do we really know about clients, real and potential, in rural areas?
More to the point, are we able to understand the financial behavior of rural inhabitants in such detail that we’re able to compare it from country to country? Can we appreciate their use of the media, how they socialize, where they see their future? Are we in tune with how consumption patterns mesh with the harvest season?
To help answer some of these fundamental questions, this fall we will release a monograph on the financial behavior of the rural inhabitants of Ecuador, Colombia, Peru, Dominican Republic and Nicaragua.
This monograph, which was written by Jacqueline Urquizo, depended on the contributions of ACCION staff  members Jose Luis Aguela, Gonzalo Manrique, and Mery Solares,  who supervised the research in the field. AIG and Citi Foundation graciously provided the grants that supported the research.
We look forward to sharing this thorough examination of rural dwellers’ consumer behavior, their interaction with the environment, and their attitudes towards financial services. Watch this space for more information about the monograph and its schedule for release.
Image credit: Sascha Grabow
Have you read?
Nicaragua’s Microfinance Crisis: Looking Back, What Did We Learn?
Microfinance and Peace in Colombia
New Consumer Protection Coountry Profile – Ecuador