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

Digital
Youth

confident, connected, planners

22% of adult population  |  6.5 million people

 

Educated Elites are generally higher-income, rural, married men. The best educated segment in Kenya overall, they have jobs or are self-employed, and make decisions for their household. They are frequent users of technology for both social and financial purposes. Every Educated Elite has a mobile money account, and they use these accounts heavily, as very frequent savers. This gives them confidence in their ability to deal with both expected and emergency expenses. They trust banks more than people, but shy away from borrowing from formal financial institutions — likely for fear of losing their collateral.

Digital Youth

Nigeria Average

INCOME

self-employed

40%

N/A

formally employed

37%

N/A

EDUCATION

secondary

70%

44%

tertiary education

15%

6%

PHONE

own smartphone

17%

19%

feature phone

45%

52%

LAND

personally own land

47%

41%

commonly own

29%

45%

GENDER (MALE)

70%

47%

AGE (25-34)

46%

31%

GEOGRAPHY (RURAL)

65%

77%

SOCIOECONOMIC

70%

SES 4-5

FORMAL ACCOUNT

OWNERSHIP

80%

38%

INFORMAL

FINANCIAL USAGE

38%

42%

MOBILE WALLET

OWNERSHIP

100%

88%

TECH USE

(HIGHEST FREQUENCY)

90%

58%

 

WHO ARE THEY? 

Demographics

“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)

Digital Youth

Nigeria Average

Demographics

 

Educated Elites are mostly higher-income, rural, married men with jobs or self-employed. They likely make the financial decisions for their household on share those decision rights with a few others. Educated Elites are relatively young, but not the youngest segment in Kenya. As their name suggests, they are also the wealthiest and  are highly likely to have at least secondary education, and most likely to have ar tertiary education as well.

Social Network

Educated Elites talk to a wide selection of people on the phone, but they rely on themselves to cope with emergencies — drawing on their strong savings behavior. They have a limited number of people to draw on while sick, but likely look to their social network for things other than social support.

RESILIENCE: SOURCES OF MONEY IN AN EMERGENCY

Digital Youth

Nigeria Average

WHAT DO THEY WANT?

Aspirations

Educated Elites look to a good future, and invest and save in pursuit of that. They look to invest in themselves: they would put the largest share of a windfall towards investment, likely not feeling the need to have so much of the money to hand and so looking to use it for that better future. They would save the next largest proportion, and slightly more than average, in a bank. They see less need to share with friends and family — perhaps this being already part of their everyday behavior. They would keep only a small proportion as cash, meanwhile — reflecting, again, a feeling of relative comfort from their income and planning behavior.

 
 

HOW DO THEY MANAGE MONEY?

Financial Behavior

“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

Financial Behavior Overview

Educated Elites exhibit strong financial behavior across different aspects of financial health. They score above average on every measure, and are particularly confident in their approach to planning and their ability to pay future expenses. Every Educated Elite owns a mobile wallet. They are enthusiastic users, frequently sending, receiving, and saving money through this channel. In addition, four out of five have an account with a formal finance institution and many save there frequently. Nearly two-fifths hold an informal account. Across all channels, they save much more frequently than they borrow.

BEHAVIORAL INDEX
FINANCIAL ACCESS

Digital Youth

Nigeria Average

Financial Access

Every Educated Elite owns a mobile wallet, and they are enthusiastic users of them – sending and receiving money often, and saving frequently. They are also very likely to own an account with a formal finance institution, with four in five doing so, and saving there frequently as well. They rely less on informal accounts, but still nearly four in ten use them. Across channels, they save much more frequently than they borrow.

Financial Priorities

Educated Elites are confident about a good future, and invest and save in pursuit of their goals. As providers for their family and perhaps their community, they see less need to direct a windfall towards supporting them, and with their savings and income have less need to reserve a windfall for future expenses.

HOW WINDFALL IS PRIORITIZED

Digital Youth

Nigeria Average

MAKES A PLAN AND FOLLOWS THROUGH

Digital Youth

Nigeria Average

Financial Plans

Educated Elites are notably strong planners, even among Kenyans who see themselves as strong planners overall. This extends to their expense planning, supporting their central decision-making position in the household.

Shaping Income and Expenses

Educated Elites generally have stable incomes, which combined with their strong planning and expense management, makes them confident in their ability to cover both everyday expenses as well as emergencies. Their income comes primarily from non-farming activities which insulates them from the volatility other Kenyans frequently face.

INCOME VOLATILITY

Digital Youth

Nigeria Average

SAVINGS CHANNELS

Digital Youth

Nigeria Average

Building Reserves

Educated Elites are frequent savers, generally saving at least monthly, with most using multiple channels as part of their financial management. They are notably active users of formal financial institutions, but mobile money is their primary savings channel, as with most Kenyans. They save somewhat frequently at home, with informal saving their least used channel.

Cultivating Receivables 

Educated Elites cultivate receivables adeptly through financial tools, using a wider variety of credit channels than the national average, to borrow somewhat frequently – mostly monthly or quarterly. They use both mobile money and family as their key borrowing channels, though borrow more frequently when they use mobile money. Their use of formal financial channels for borrowing is relatively low, especially compared to their heavier use of  saving, suggesting these institutions do not have credit products that meet their needs and preferences. This is likely driven by the collateral requirements for such products.

SOURCES OF BORROWING

Digital Youth

Nigeria Average

PHONE USAGE

Digital Youth

Nigeria Average

Technology Usage

Educated Elites are heavy users of technology, with high smartphone ownership and usage rates — both voice and data. They are the most frequent users of social media as well.

 

HOW DO THEY THINK?

Psychology

“Now that my family think I have money it it 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

Self-perception

Educated Elites believe in their own control over their success. Higher earners than most Kenyans, they are both very satisfied with their progress in the past five years and look ahead with confidence to the future. They have low self-esteem overall but still the highest among Kenyans, while being quite split on their level of self-efficacy.

LOCUS OF CONTROL

Digital Youth

Nigeria Average

IMPULSIVE SPENDING

Digital Youth

Nigeria Average

Conscientiousness and Openness

Educated Elites are conscientious and comparatively open for Kenyans, while their level of impulsive spending is low overall – as may be expected from their strong planning-orientation and deliberate approach to decision-making. Their relative wealth may give them the opportunity to plan more effectively, leading to a strong approach to saving in particular.

Attitude Towards Savings

Educated Elites’ psychometrics help to explain their strong savings behavior. They are more deliberate than most Kenyans. They see saving as important in its own right and believe they have both the money to save, and that ability to keep their savings safe.

SAVINGS DELIBERATENESS

Digital Youth

Nigeria Average

COMFORT WITH DEBT

Digital Youth

Nigeria Average

Attitude Towards Debt

While Educated Elites are quite frequent borrowers, they have low overall comfort with debt – perhaps feeling they have more to lose, given their relative wealth. Their low dependability is nevertheless higher than Kenyans as a whole, also suggesting a reticence to enter an agreement that they may not be able to fulfil.

Trust in People

Educated Elites are not particularly trusting in people but are more trusting than Kenyans on average. This is reflected in their limited trust in people overall, their likelihood not to trust strangers, and their mixed level of trust in lending to their community, which likely reduces their willingness to engage with informal borrowing channels. They are however slightly more likely to believe their community will invest in their future, than not. Their view of the equality of their community is somewhat mixed.

BELIEF IN COMMUNITY'S WILLINGNESS TO SUPPORT

Digital Youth

Nigeria Average

TRUST IN BANKS

Digital Youth

Nigeria Average

Trust in Banks

Educated Elites trust banks, which is reflected in their higher level of account ownership and frequent savings behavior with formal financial institutions – though this does not overcome their nervousness around borrowing from institutions that may demand collateral. Their belief in respect for authority is also relatively high, again indicating their orientation to trust institutions rather than community members.

DESIGN PRINCIPLES & 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?

 
 

USER PROFILE

 

Tosin

“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 & OPPORTUNITIES

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 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, and 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.