The Human Account is a segmentation that provides rigorous data,
deep qualitative insights, and a holistic framework for understanding people’s financial lives.
It unlocks the stories of the globes’ most underserved customers and reveals opportunities for financial service providers to create better, more relevant products for these untapped markets.
To better understand these emerging customer markets
and people’s financial lives, we developed a three-dimensional
research framework, revealing the contextual, behavioral, and psychological dimensions of their financial lives.
Understanding of people grounded in financial health
We grounded our approach to customer segmentation in the concept of financial health, recognizing that it enables us to generate a more realistic and actionable understanding of financial lives than is possible using a product or inclusion lens.
A THREE-DIMENSIONAL FRAMEWORK
What are the socioeconomic characteristics of my users?
Age, gender, household
context, education, sources
and amount of income, and
How do my users act?
How individuals plan and
prioritize their finances,
shape income and expenses,
build reserves, and cultivate receivables
Why do my users act as they do?
People's sense of control,
self-efficacy, openness, trust, optimism, conscientiousness,
Why go beyond financial inclusion
and start with financial health?
We believe products and services designed to strengthen people’s financial health are more salient and valuable in the eyes of customers, expand markets and ultimately maximize customer lifetime value for providers, and are more likely to drive the human development outcomes we seek.
People are financially healthy when they are able to use financial tools and strategies to effectively and consistently to:
the face of
financial and economic opportunities
Process & Methods
concept of financial health, recognizing that it enables us to generate a more realistic and actionable understanding of financial lives than is possible using a product or inclusion lens.
PHASE 1: HUMAN-CENTERED DESIGN RESEARCH
How can we ground the data
in a deeper understanding of
people's real lives and behavior?
A key differentiator of this work is its integration of methods from multiple research and analysis traditions—such as human-centered design (HCD), cognitive psychology, behavioral science, and large scale survey-based market research.
Initial HCD was crucial for understanding the context of people's financial lives, including their challenges, aspirations, strategies, and personalities. Through this research, we developed models for understanding people's financial lives and identified key contextual, behavioral, and psychological variables for measurement in subsequent national surveys. Using this structured and comprehensive HCD-research, our integrated team of researchers, designers, and strategists produced explanatory models, robust user profiles, and our segmentation survey instrument. These profiles provided an unprecedented in-depth look at participant's financial lives that grounded our data analysis and brought our segments to life.
The design of the foundational HCD research included many activities, from household financial mapping to scenario-based provocations. The learning agenda was:
Contextual elements that shape financial lives
Deeply felt needs driving behaviors and strategies
Financial behaviors and strategies that people deploy in pursuit of financial health
Psychological characteristics that underpin people's values, preferences, and financial decisions