Accion has provided new product development support to institutions in Latin America, Africa, and Asia for many years. We have helped institutions to successfully develop, deploy, and improve a variety of user-centric financial products and services, including group and individual lending, savings, insurance, and housing products.
One of the ways Accion helps FSPs develop user-centric products is by conducting design workshops that help institutions develop new product ideas. Between 2017 and 2018, Accion held design workshops with 30 institutions in Mexico, Chile, Colombia, Zambia, Tanzania, and Sierra Leone.
During the workshops, participants begin by assessing their primary business challenge, and reframe it from a user-centric angle rather than an institution-centric one. They then learn how to conduct efficient and useful user research, and use their understanding of their customer’s financial behaviors, capabilities, needs, and desires to ideate and prototype a new product concept. They test their initial prototypes with potential users, and iterate based on user testing.
As outcomes from these workshops:
- FSPs have learned how Accion’s product development methodology supports the development of user-centric digital products and services by focusing on understanding customer wants, needs, and behaviors, as well as building financial capability, all while considering institutional strategy and capacity.
- FSPs have applied the methodology to identify, develop, and prototype a product or service concept that addressed a real-life challenge or opportunity.
- FSPs have learned how the methodology can be best adapted to their needs, context, and market, and how to build an initial business rationale for product development or improvement.
- FSPs have left the workshops equipped to apply the methodology inside their institutions through a customized product idea, prototype, and implementation plan (including a user-centric pitch).