Case Study

Tigo Cash: Rethinking Mobile Money

image: CGAP Insights Into Action

image: CGAP Insights Into Action


Project Overview

Implementing Team

5 people from Tigo Cash, 3 designers from & Ideo, 3 people from CGAP

Partners, Tigo Cash, CGAP (Consultative Group to Assist the Poor)

Additional Resources


Tigo Cash launched its mobile money service in Ghana in 2010. By 2012, the service had just over 1 million registered subscribers, yet only a fraction of these were actively transacting. Tigo Cash—along with its competitors in Ghana—was struggling to gain momentum. In 2013, CGAP, Tigo Cash, and set out to better understand how to improve the customer value proposition and to improve customer engagement with mobile money among low-income Ghanaians.

Methods in Action



Understanding deep motivations to drive behavior change

Unlike a conventional product redesign process, the  aim of this research was not simply to change the existing Tigo Cash product. Instead, the goal was to learn how to activate users by understanding key customer touch points and deep motivations for registered customers who were registered, but not actively using the service. 


Observing through interviews

The implementation team visited user communities in Accra and Kumasi to understand the behavior of current Tigo Cash customers and how Tigo Cash could be more appealing, The team conducted interviews with more than 40 people over the course of four months, with the goal of learning what matters most when it comes to making and receiving payments. Through the interview process,  the Tigo Cash,, and CGAP teams gained knowledge of customers’ desires and fears, which were an invaluable precursor to designing solutions. 

Translating customer observations into insights

In its marketing campaigns, Tigo Cash had framed its value proposition as “Speed, Access and Convenience,” yet the team heard from customers during the research phase that they already considered cash easy and convenient. They considered sending cash “fast enough” (including cash transfers through a bus that arrived within a day). Cash was fine. Mobile money, on the other hand, was confusing and a hassle. People were not looking for the things Tigo Cash was offering; in fact, these seemed like irrelevant offerings to them. Customer research insights allowed Tigo Cash to understand how to position mobile money and ultimately to tailor its service to the needs and desires of unbanked Ghanaians.

Next steps - designing tailored services

The design team developed three research-driven experience principles aimed to help Tigo Cash focus on key elements to help build the trust and value of Tigo Cash. The team then built and tested prototype services based on these principles, three of which were developed and piloted in 27 communities in 2014.