The Human Account is led, created and developed by Dalberg with Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors, and funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

 

Local partners are Lagos Business School in Nigeria, Ashoka University in India, not-for-profit development finance company, Karandaaz in Pakistan, and research and advisory firm, Busara Center for Behavioral Economics in Kenya.

NIGERIA

Traditional

Believers

religious, familial, conservative

12% of population  |  22.3 million  |  Nigeria: 185.9 million

 

Well educated and urban, Digital Youth
are the
youngest and wealthiest segment, and the
most likely to be single (63%).

They have confidence in their future and high self-esteem but are distrustful of banksdespite being the segment most likely to have a bank account.

Despite being the wealthiest segment, 

Digital Youth are not financially healthier 

than average Nigerians. They have the highest income volatility of all Nigerians,

due perhaps to their high rates of casual labor and self-employment.

They are technology enthusiasts, which is possibly linked to their high education and openness. Yet their ownership and use of mobile money accounts is only average for Nigerians, suggesting an untapped opportunity.

Digital Youth

Nigeria Average

INCOME

self-employed

45%

34%

formally employed

24%

19%

EDUCATION

up to tertiary

25%

16%

up to secondary

67%

57%

PHONE

own smartphone

62%

37%

feature phone

68%

69%

LAND

own land

57%

48%

have access to land

27%

23%

GENDER (MALE)

60%

49%

AGE (18-34)

69%

62%

GEOGRAPHY (URBAN)

60%

43%

SOCIOECONOMIC

38% SES 5

23% SES 4

N/A

FORMAL ACCOUNT

OWNERSHIP

75%

49%

INFORMAL

USAGE

31%

39%

MOBILE WALLET

OWNERSHIP

8%

8%

TECH USE

(HIGH FREQUENCY)

73%

40%

 

ANALYSIS

CONTEXT

Who are they?

“Now that my family thinks I have money it is very difficult for me to approach them and ask for money. Even if I did they would just tell me they don’t have anything. They call me the rich man.”

TOSIN, EBUTTA META, NIGERIA

SOCIOECONOMIC STATUS (SES)

Relatively urban and highly educated, Digital Youth are the wealthiest segment. They are the youngest segment and the most likely to be self-employed and single, and are more often formally employed than the Nigerian average. This may account in part for their relative concentration in the top 2 socio-economic quintiles. However, they are also the most highly educated—25% have tertiary education—indicating that many may come from relatively wealthier families. 

While Digital Youth are the wealthiest segment, their income is highly volatile: almost three-quarters not earning similar amounts week to week, and almost as many not able to predict daily earnings at the start of the day—both the highest across the segments. 

Digital Youth are the most social segment in terms of daily phone calls, but rely on fewer people for support when sick. Potentially, their wealth allows them to handle health issues independently, or makes it more unlikely others will provide support.

PRIMARY SOURCE OF INCOME
Screen Shot 2018-08-24 at 4.11.34 PM.png

ASPIRATIONS

What do they want?

Digital Youth aspire to save and invest to build businesses and a better future. They would allocate significantly more of a cash windfall to investments and bank savings.
In Nigeria, people often only save in banks when they have extra money for long term goals or investments that is not needed for short to medium term expenses (e.g. school fees, working capital, or repaying a loan).
HOW WINDFALL IS PRIORITIZED
Screen Shot 2018-08-24 at 11.33.01 AM.pn

BEHAVIOR

How do they manage finances?

Despite their wealth and being the second-strongest planners, they are slightly less able than the average Nigerian to pay their household bills, likely due to their high income volatility.

The interplay between planning and volatility seems to affect their savings and borrowing behavior as well: they are the most likely segment to save monthly, the least likely to save weekly, yet are the second most likely never to borrow at all.

FINANCIAL HEALTH
ACCOUNT OWNERSHIP/MEMBERSHIP

Digital youth’s uptake and usage of bank accounts are well above average, owing perhaps to their high socioeconomic status, high rates of self-employment and formal employment, education levels, conscientiousness and dependability—all of which correlate with higher rates of bank account usage. Digital Youth save in banks significantly more so than average Nigerians even though they distrust them, suggesting they feel that the benefits banks provide outweigh their distrust.

Despite their higher-than-average usage of technology, Digital Youth own and use mobile money accounts at the same rates as average Nigerians. Given the segment’s comfort with technology, high use of banks, confidence in the future, and strong self-esteem, there is a clear opportunity to drive mobile money use within this segment.

ACCESS TO PHONES

PSYCHOLOGY

How do they think?

“I see people using ajos (ROSCAs) and when they get the money

I am impressed but I don't bother because I have a fixed account and

they are the same… [with] ajos someone could die or get robbed and

what can you do to recover your money?”

TOSIN, EBUTTA META, NIGERIA

Digital Youth take a nuanced approach to the ways in which they determine and shape their financial strategies. Although they do not trust banks, their high account ownership and usage suggests they recognize the value and utility that banks can offer given their circumstance. 

TRUST IN BANKS
BANKS.png
TRUST IN PEOPLE

Though they are highly connected and strongly trust people, they have below average uptake and use of informal financial products. They may not see value in informal financial services given their unique financial needs (as entrepreneurs in the new economy), and in fact view informal channels as risky because because participation exposes their relative wealth to the community, which can then make claims against it. In fact, Digital Youth are the segment most likely to perceive their community as unequal, perhaps heightening the perceived risk, and in Nigeria this correlates with lower rates of informal service usage. 

Moreover, they do not feel they can rely on the community to support their businesses, which given their relative youth and good health, may be one of their primary aspirations and financial needs. As such, they may see less value in informal services than the average Nigerian. In Nigeria low belief in community support correlates with low rates of borrowing overall and from informal groups, and high rates of using windfalls for investments, all behaviors demonstrated by Digital Youth.

BELIEF IN COMMUNITY SUPPORT

OPPORTUNITIES

How might we develop and target products 

that help Digital Youth lock away savings

despite their volatile incomes?

+

How might we develop and market smartphone

based financial tools to Digital Youth?

Create products and services that:

Offer and emphasize convenience of mobile

Smooth income and improve liquidity for 

expenses, through financial planning, credit, and savings products for people with volatile income

Support business investment and management

Provide opportunity for financial privacy

Create outreach and messaging that:

Digital and social media

Schools and universities

Emphasize building a better future

Emphasize on unique experience and needs

 
 

USER PROFILE

 

Wunmi

“I know this work is going to take me far.

The next step is to be a boss of my own company.

I've seen so many people make it and they come from the same place as me. I want to be stable first, because when you have stability you move on growth."

 

 

Tosin is 28 years old single man living in Lagos. He runs his own fashion and interior design business, which he started with savings and profits from a land investment he made when he 16 years old. He cares for his mother, a money guard in the community, and supports his girlfriend’s studies.

 

Tosin is financially and economically self-confident—he trusts in himself and his judgement and rarely consults with others besides those closest to him. His top priority is to be financially stable while building his personal brand and growing his business while doing what he loves. He wants to be big.

USER INSIGHTS

Unique youth experiences
in evolving job market

Together with Dependent Individualists, Digital Youth report feeling the least equal to their community, reflecting their unique experience as digital natives in the job market and the specific challenges and strategies they use to manage incomes volatile incomes and invest in businesses defined largely by freelancing and entrepreneurialism.

Strong and deliberate

financial strategies

Digital Youth are strong planners and savers. They see themselves as conscientious, dependable, deliberate and have low impulsivity. They are strongly future and goal oriented, and prioritize investments. Providers should take advantage of these traits by providing financial products and services that unlock their potential.