Understanding Youth and Their Financial Needs

The Seep Network; The MasterCard Foundation
Resource Type: 
Publication Date: 
Apr 15, 2013

This document captures the insights of a number of stakeholders in the field and provides preliminary guidance for organizations that are contemplating the design and implementation of youth financial service programming. Insights into the money flows and financial behaviors of youth provide an important launching point for FSPs seeking to design appropriate, sustainable youth-friendly products in a way that will ensure both their uptake and usage. However, it may be necessary for an FSP to conduct additional market research to ensure the maximum relevance and applicability of a program in a specific context for a specific market segment. This tool also serves as reference for policy makers seeking to develop, promote, or strengthen new or existing youth programs within their respective countries.

This Synthesis looks at the financial decision-making behaviors of youth (e.g., spending, saving, and borrowing) that are directly influenced by their income flows,expected contributions to their families, and experience and perception of formal financial services, as well as their current life stage. It then examines how these behaviors may impact the design of financial and education support services. Emerging best practices indicate that young people benefit the most from financial services when these services are offered in conjunction with non-financial services, such as mentoring, financial education, internship opportunities, health education, livelihood skills training, and social asset building.This publication will focus mainly on financial education as a tool for building the capabilities of youth in saving, spending, and borrowing in order to make effective use of financial services. It will also look at how market segmentation and the most effective ways of reaching youth contribute to program design at the institutional level.
Understanding Youth and Their Financial Needs was prepared by the SEEP Youth and Financial Services (YaFS) Working Group, which brings together practitioners to engage in discussions and analysis of the field that can lead to the development of functional learning products. The Working Group is currently comprised of SEEP Members and other key stakeholder that support programs and services designed to increase economic opportunities for youth and their access and utilization of appropriate financial services. 


Financial Inclusion
Financial Capability
Financial Literacy/Education
Training & Capacity