Human-Centered Design Learnings from Zambia

Research shows that digital finance uptake in Zambia is slowed by agent liquidity issues. Lack of float or e-float to service a customer at agents results in a in a high “bounce rate” for customers. Clients are turned down by their agent and can’t cash out the mobile money they just received or saved up for a big purchase. A big set-back for potential customers that does not encourage them to use or subscribe to the service.

With the support of UNCDF MM4P, Airtel Money Zambia set out to answer the question, ‘How do we address the problem of low uptake of mobile money services in Zambia?

Teaming up with design firm, 17 Triggers, UNCDF MM4P and Airtel Money Zambia adopted a human centered design (HCD) approach to investigate the perspectives of both customers and agents on Airtel’s mobile money service and solve liquidity issues.

This video follows Airtel’s journey to co-create solutions with their mobile money agents, to help them improve their float management and serve customers better. The video showcases some of the ideas designed and tested with 20 agents in three locations. As a result of this co-creation journey two concepts were selected and are now ready to scale.

By promoting the use of human centered design, UNCDF MM4P is committed to supporting Zambian digital finance providers on how to best test, launch and scale products. Our goal is to open their minds to understand what their customers or agents faces in their journey to become “power users” or “power agents” and design products using these insights.