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A Structured Approach to Understanding the Financial Service Needs of the Poor in Mexico

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Financial service providers have traditionally focused more on the supply side of financial inclusion than on the demand side. Undoubtedly, it is easier to measure number of branches, total customers served, and aggregated portfolios rather than attempt to get into the messy business of poor and underserved customers’ lives, businesses, and needs. However, we are starting to recognize the fundamental importance of working directly with customers to understand their financial habits and needs, as well as the role of finance in their lives. This brings a new perspective on the problem of financial inclusion: a deeper understanding of demand could be key to designing a more meaningful and sustainable offering, particularly as we realize how little we actually know.

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