MTN MoKash

Human-centered design for digital financial services

This project was initiated in 2017 by Financial Sector Deepening Uganda as a means to apply HCD to provide digital financial services. Using the expertise of Design Without Borders, the objective was to advise and support MTN Uganda in their design and implementation of a campaign that educates rural customers on the use, benefits, and terms & conditions of the MoKash mobile savings and credit product.

Partner: FSD Uganda, MTN Year: 2017-2018 Sector: Service Design/Research

The Challenge:

According to MTN & FSDU, the MoKash product had the potential to bring substantial impact among the poor by reducing the time and cost of accessing savings and credit services, leading to a reduction in their vulnerability to shocks. However, it was necessary to explore the most effective and efficient means to communicate and educate customers on the benefits and features of the product. 

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 Using a HCD approach and engaging with customers, agents and MTN staff, in three different regions of the country, the DWB team was able to understand how MoKash is perceived and used, allowing them to uncover the challenges currently faced by low income individuals, as well as their level of awareness/difficulties in understanding MoKash and its associated services.


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Using dialogue and semi-structured interviews with stakeholders including MTN staff, employees and management, MTN Mobile money agents and MTN customers, DWB was able to identify information/knowledge gaps between MTN and their agents and customers. 

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 It was evident that potential customers were not interested in knowing about MoKash as they were dissatisfied with other MTN services, and they did not have enough knowledge about the service to use or sign up for it, and the MTN service providers also lacked sufficient knowledge about the product to promote it.

Through the field research, analysis and processing of the findings, key learnings and recommendations that helped the partners with the next steps of the project included:

  • Knowledge about the MoKash service was generally too low among all stakeholders
  • Difficulty in access to quality information by the MTN service providers
  • Non-existent, insufficient or late distribution of promotional material
  • Most people join MoKash to get loans, a common misunderstanding
  • The general reputation of MTN affects customers’ willingness to join the program

All these interconnected factors resulted in users not being able to take advantage of the benefits of the service, making them confused and dissatisfied. Through mapping out the channels through which information flows, that would allow adequate knowledge of the MoKash service to reach MTN service providers and customers, and highlighting the key learnings from the research, FSDU and MTN were then able to adopt these learnings through the next phase of their project.


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