November 1, 2023
Today, only about half of adults in developing countries have quick access to funds for unexpected expenses, and 1.4 billion people are unbanked, meaning they have no accounts at any financial institution.
This disconnection from the financial system has various causes, including lack of trust in banks and limited access to banking services. Lack of savings is a significant issue worldwide, as households are unable to save as much as they would like. Saving money under the mattress is common, but it often leads to increased spending rather than long-term savings.
Savings deposits are not only crucial for individuals but also for banks. Approximately three-quarters of bank lending worldwide is financed by deposits. However, in developing countries, banks struggle to attract deposits due to a large number of unbanked individuals and low-income populations.
To encourage people to save more money and open savings accounts, prize-linked savings (PLS) accounts have emerged as a promising solution. PLS accounts are a type of financial product offered by banks and credit unions worldwide. Account holders receive a ticket for a cash-prize drawing for every amount they save, incentivizing both saving more and opening savings accounts.
Research on the effectiveness of PLS accounts with lottery-type incentives is limited. To address this gap, a study was conducted in partnership with a Mexico-based bank. The study found that offering cash incentives through PLS accounts increased the number of new accounts, deposits, and the overall savings stock at each branch.
The study involved 110 bank branches, with 40 branches randomly assigned to offer PLS accounts and the remaining branches serving as a control group. Account holders earned one lottery ticket for every 50 pesos (US$4) of new savings, with monthly cash prizes of 400 pesos (US$31) and two larger prizes of 10,000 pesos (US$777).
Promoting financial inclusion and encouraging savings is crucial for individuals and banks alike. Prize-linked savings accounts have shown promise in increasing savings and account opening. Further research and implementation of such accounts can contribute to a more inclusive and accessible financial system.
Aishwarya Nair, dubbed "Lotto Lorekeeper" at LottoRanker, harnesses her meticulous research skills and cultural depth from Kerala, India, to shed light on global lottery phenomena. Equipped with a keen sense of detail and a penchant for data, she delves deep into the lottery world, unveiling hidden gems and trending patterns.