Vernacular Financial Literacy Modules

One of the biggest challenges when creating products for the larger India is the abysmal state of alpha-literacy: essentially, a large segment of the population cannot read or write alphabetic characters, but can understand numbers.

To reach such a segment, there is only one real approach: using audio-visual means to convey the message. When MFIN India brought us in to create vernacular financial literacy modules, we decided to step back and rethink our approach based on the constraints presented:

  1. The modules should work in low data connections.
  2. The language switching in the module should happen consistently once the user has selected the base language.
  3. It should be highly audio-visual, and avoid use of text.
  4. It should be low cost – for the approach to be scalable and sustainable in the long run.

We recreated the audio-visual player in our mobile app, to work with a sequence of images and audio track, which made it extremely low on bandwidth requirements. Furthermore, the language picker smartly switches the app language and the literacy modules, and presents the user with streamlined view. The modules themselves have been developed in five languages.

Our work was showcased at MFIN’s recent pan-Asia microfinance event, and following is the video version of one of the modules we presented. You can see how simple sequence of images with a smart audio track can convey extremely indepth information, perhaps far more than brochures or other such means.

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