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.

PAKISTAN WOMEN

Conservative

Individualists

traditional, struggling, independent

12% of adult female population

7.5 million women

 

Mostly older, less religiously expressive women with limited education — although over

one–third are aged 25-34. They use technology infrequently and exhibit low trust and low openness. Though they engage in limited financial behavior across all measures, they have high self-efficacy and believe in their ability to influence their contexts.

Conservative Individualists

Pakistan Average

INCOME

self-employed

N/A

N/A

formally employed

N/A

N/A

EDUCATION

no/informal education

77%

N/A

primary education

12%

20%

PHONE

own smartphone

1%

15%

feature phone

18%

38%

LAND

own land

53%

30%

have access to land

77%

N/A

GENDER (FEMALE)

100%

51%

AGE (45+)

34%

N/A

GEOGRAPHY (RURAL)

65%

N/A

SOCIOECONOMIC

56%

SES 1-2

FORMAL ACCOUNT

OWNERSHIP

4%

8%

INFORMAL FINANCIAL USAGE

9%

16%

MOBILE WALLET

OWNERSHIP

1%

1%

TECH USE

(LOWEST FREQUENCY)

80%

75%

 

ANALYSIS

CONTEXT

Who are they?

SOCIOECONOMIC STATUS (SES)

Conservative Individualists

Pakistan Average

Basic Demographics

Conservative Individualists are mostly low-income, rural, married women, and are the most likely segment to be entirely uneducated (71%). They skew slightly older, though also have an above-average likelihood to be aged 25-34, and despite being most rural, own limited livestock and are the least likely to own land (59% don’t own). They mostly rely on their spouses to make household decisions, but are also the most likely segment to make decisions themselves. Notably, their daily income is more volatile than average, and more volatile than their weekly income.

Social Financial Network

Conservative Individualists appear to maintain limited support networks. 70% report having either one person or no one to call on for help when sick. Indeed, they are the most likely of any segment to have no one to call in such circumstances (36%). This is likely driven to an extent by their rural location and their neighbors’ similarly low socioeconomic status, but augmented by their strikingly low trust in people. Only 18% reportedly draw on social sources of support in emergencies, compared to the national average of 52%.


They are half as likely as other segments to speak to two or more people daily on the phone (32%), and 68% speak to one or no people, suggesting their phone-based social network isn’t much more extensive than their social support network is. This may be due to geography, culture, or choice.

RESILIENCE

Conservative Individualists

Pakistan Average

 

ASPIRATIONS

What do they want?

Conservative Individualists prioritize directing over half of a windfall toward cash reserves, and are more likely than average to share with family and friends, but they show consistently below-average interest in all other potential destinations. Their strategic focus seems largely to be on meeting immediate expenses and keeping liquid cash in the household.

 

BEHAVIOR

How do they manage their finances?

Financial Behavior Overview

Conservative Individualists exhibit the weakest financial behavior in almost every measure, particularly in building reserves, planning and prioritization. Only in shaping income are their scores about average.

FINANCIAL BEHAVIOR INDEX

Conservative Individualists

Pakistan Average

FINANCIAL ACCESS

Conservative Individualists

Pakistan Average

Financial Access

Conservative Individualists have among the lowest access to formal and informal accounts. Only 4% of Conservative Individualists own formal accounts, and only 9% are informally financially included. This likely results from and is exacerbated by their low incomes and smaller social networks. Interestingly, they are the least likely segment to report finding financial services to be complex. Nevertheless, scoring profoundly low on openness overall, they are highly discriminating towards most new products and services – not just those of financial service providers. They may also have access only to more simple products and services, and so have less awareness of the full range of financial services available.

Financial Priorities

Conservative Individualists prioritize directing a windfall toward keeping it as cash (58% compared to 34% for women nationally) and are more likely than average to share with family and friends, but they show consistently below-average interest in all other potential destinations. Their strategic focus seems largely to be on meeting immediate expenses and keeping liquid cash in the household.

HOW THEY PRIORITIZE A WINDFALL

Conservative Individualists

Pakistan Average

HAS A PLAN TO MANAGE EXPENSES

Conservative Individualists

Pakistan Average

Financial Planning

Conservative Individualists do not consider themselves strong planners, scoring at levels well below national averages on measures of planning orientation. 32% of Conservative Individualists report that they make plans and then follow through with them, compared to 73% on average nationally. This may be partly a result of their low SES and frequent financial emergencies. As the least-educated segment overall, and with only 24% reporting high literacy, it is possible that Conservative Individualists more frequently respond neutrally than negatively because they lack the awareness of, and ability to access, the basic tools many others use to plan finances in unpredictable, poorly-resourced contexts.

Shaping Income & Expenses

Conservative Individualists exhibit about average income volatility both week to week and each day. Only 12% report having a plan to manage their expenses — expenses which only 14% state they are usually able to pay. On each of these measures, they report the poorest behavior, and are therefore the least effective segment nationally at shaping expenses. They experience 50% more emergency types than average, and almost 20% more unpaid expense types. Their prioritization of keeping prospective windfalls in cash rather than explicitly towards future expenses, investments or paying debts suggest that even in an opportunity to shape their incomes and expenses, they perhaps prefer to maintain short-term flexibility.

ABILITY TO PAY HOUSEHOLD EXPENSES

Conservative Individualists

Pakistan Average

SAVINGS FREQUENCY

Conservative Individualists

Pakistan Average

Building Reserves

They are the most infrequent savers, and use the fewest channels. Only 26% ever save in any form, and a mere 2% save with family at least annually, even though it is their most frequent savings channel. They are relatively neutral regarding whether their savings would be safe from calls from others, but with fewer than average seeing savings as unsafe. They have the least negative overall attitudes towards saving in general (43% lowest-to-low, versus 76% nationally). They may feel that the money they make should be enough to save with, but challenges in shaping expenses make it difficult for them in practice. Given a high locus of control, this difference between attitude and behavior may impact their self-esteem.

Cultivating Receivables

Conservative Individualists are overall very unlikely to borrow, with 84% never borrowing. However, unlike with their savings behavior, those who do borrow do so relatively frequently, with the proportion borrowing at least weekly the highest of any segment. They are close to the national average for being able to secure funds in an emergency, with 63% finding it unlikely or impossible, but they are the most likely segment to take a neutral or negative view of their community’s likelihood to invest in their business or their child’s education.

SOURCE OF BORROWING

Conservative Individualists

Pakistan Average

ACCESS TO BASIC PHONES
ACCESS TO FEATURE PHONES

Conservative Individualists

Pakistan Average

Technology Use

With broadly low access, low SES scores and smaller social networks, Conservative Individualists make very limited use of technology. They have the lowest phone usage of any segment. More women than any other segment indicate that they never use a phone (15% versus an average of 2% nationally) or use it less than once per day, and only a fifth of this segment (21%) reports any daily usage at all. Access appears to be a profound bottleneck to Conservative Individualists’ usage; while 55% have access to a feature phone, only 18% personally own one. 15% have access to a phone but never use it - however none of those personally owning a phone report they never use it. They virtually never use the internet, including social media.

 

PSYCHOLOGY

How do they think?

Self-Perception

Conservative Individualists believe strongly in their capacity to learn and ability to influence events around them. 85% of Conservative Individualists have a high locus of control, the highest of any segment. However, they feel profoundly negative about themselves (87% reporting low self-esteem) and about their future (66% reporting the lowest confidence in the future). Their belief that they influence their own context and are inherently capable themselves (i.e., high self-efficacy) while persistently finding themselves in a lower socioeconomic status may serve to drive their very low self-esteem and their deeply negative outlook towards the future. They are the least likely to have a positive attitude towards the future, with only 9% feeling optimistic about future improvement.

SELF-ESTEEM

Conservative Individualists

Pakistan Average

CONSCIENTIOUSNESS

Conservative Individualists

Pakistan Average

Conscientiousness, Impulsiveness, and Openness

Conservative Individualists have moderate-to-high impulsivity, reflecting their limited planning behavior. They have low openness, dependability and conscientiousness — all hand-in-hand with their relatively poor financial health. Their low openness may serve to keep their financial behavior consistent, without interest in trying new things. Only 32% report that they make plans and follow through with them — 41% below the national average. Only 14% of the segment shows high conscientiousness, suggesting an overall limited planning orientation.

Trust in Institutions

Conservative Individualists have notably low trust in banks, people and social financial networks, and have little faith in community support. Their breadth of trust however is remarkably high, with 66% having the highest breadth. Given the very low levels of trust they have in people generally, it is likely that this measure reflects their overall lack of trust, even in people they have known for longer. They have below-average trust in media and the lowest average trust in government. They have low respect for authority (only 16% at high levels). However, though their trust in banks is frequently low (22% trust banks), it is notably better than for people (3% trust) or for social financial networks (10% trust). Local agent-based banking services could serve this segment, who have limited social networks and less trust in the people around them with whom they already could transact. They are notably unlikely to take part in religious services or ceremonies, suggesting that they may not trust religious institutions any more than other channels.

TRUST IN BANKS

Conservative Individualists

Pakistan Average

WIVES AND HUSBANDS SHOULD KNOW
EACH OTHER'S FINANCIAL AFFAIRS

Conservative Individualists

Pakistan Average

Gender Attitudes

Just over 1/3 of Conservative Individualists (38%) feel that men are better financial managers than women, setting them apart from all other Pakistani women segments who believe this rather more strongly (64% doing so on average). However, Conservative Individualists feel less strongly that husbands and wives should know about each other's financial affairs (50% in agreement compared to 88% nationally) and that boys should be educated about finance in the same manner (47% in agreement compared to 86% nationally).

 

OPPORTUNITY

How might we create products with long-term engagement opportunities for very low income earners and market them in a way that overcomes distrust and pessimism?