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.

Traditional

Believers

12% of Nigeria | 13 million people

religious, familial, trusting

Click below to learn more:

Watch Wunmi's

Short Documentary

WUNMI'S STORY

Meet Wunmi

 

"When I need help, I go to my pastors.

They have the will and have given me support."

Wunmi is a 45-year old mother working as a porter in Lagos. She grew up Muslim and converted when she married a Christian man at 25. She completed some high school and is the sole earner in her home, as her husband lost his job five years ago. Tragically, the family's home burned down in 2015 and they lost everything. Her strong relationships within the church community were her anchor. Her pastor rallied the community to help her family begin to recover. Wunmi trusts in God, but worries that her family still hasn’t fully recovered from the fire. With her family's reliance on her, her inconsistent income creates financial pressure and frustration.

Amidst these financial losses, how is Wunmi currently addressing her priority expenses and long-term investment goals?

 

SEGMENT OVERVIEW

 

Traditional Believers,

by the numbers

Like Wunmi, Traditional Believers are mostly lower-income religious women with limited education who farm or run small business. Approximately 13 million people (12% of the Nigerian population) fall in this segment and are mostly from rural backgrounds. 

Traditional Believers

Nigeria Average

GENDER (FEMALE)

63%

51%

AGE (18-34)

59%

62%

SOCIOECONOMIC (SES 1-3)

88%

60%

HIGH INCOME VOLATILITY

38%

54%

Traditional Believers save and borrow, especially within the family. Most plan their expenses, but they struggle with paying bills and raising emergency funds. They are the poorest segment in Nigeria and their income is moderately volatile, creating significant stress with expenses and frequent emergencies.

SAVINGS BEHAVIOR & ATTITUDES

Most Traditional Believers believe they do not earn enough to save, let alone to cover household costs. Yet, nearly all save, albeit at a savings frequency lower than other segments.

SAVINGS ACCOUNTS

They primarily manage money through informal groups such as family, which is common amongst farming communities. Very few use mobile savings or formal accounts, which offer narrower value compared to social financial tools.

BORROWING BEHAVIOR & ATTITUDES

Their borrowing frequency is higher than other segments. Together with savings, these behaviors are likely to meet expenses and cover income shortfalls. About two-thirds are moderately to highly comfortable holding debt, though most do not consider themselves dependable.

BORROWING ACCOUNTS

They may fear mobile borrowing from formal providers and informal group borrowing, where loan terms are more stringent and defaulting carries serious financial and social risks.

Traditional Believers

Nigeria Average

Explore our complete set of findings:

Financial Behavior & Attitudes

 

DESIGN OPPORTUNITIES

How might we create products and services for Traditional Believers that...

Expand Service Features

Include financial planning tools, debt consolidation and automatic loan payments products

Increase Support Channels

Build financial connections and access to emergency support, especially through community groups like churches and ROSCAs

Incorporate User-Friendly Messaging

Use simple and

non-technical financial language that takes into account the user's financial anxieties about the future

1

2

3