Fundación Capital is an international foundation working to expand financial literacy and inclusion, innovating to help millions of families define their own paths out of poverty. Since 2009, Fundación Capital has been investing in designing and developing digital solutions with the aim of achieving more inclusive economies and reducing poverty in Africa and Latin America.
The goal to reach 25 million people in 20 countries by 2020 resulted in the LISTA initiative, a financial education application with game elements designed specifically for impoverished households in Africa and Latin America. LISTA enables users to learn and practice how to save money, have responsible debt and how to use ATMs, among other financial topics.
Fundación Capital faced a number of challenges when first developing LISTA. For example, there was no conceptual reference; while apps had been created for trained field workers and children in schools, this was the first time that an app was designed for adults with low literacy and no formal education, living in rural areas of Latin America. In addition, traditional institutional channels like schools did not exist for adult training programs. Over the course of several releases and rollouts, important platform decisions were made and a reach and distribution system were established.
In 2016, Ncite was approached to reinvent the existing digital solution and to prepare the stage for scaling it massively to global audiences.
The technological solution that Ncite came up with is a customized solution using the Unity game engine. Ncite built a framework that allows rapid content creation and a suite of interactive learning mechanics that can be adapted to various types of learning contents. Today, our strong technology core is supporting Fundación Capital's 13 localized versions of the app, for use on two continents (Africa and Latin America), and in four different languages (Portuguese, Spanish, Kiswahili, and Kirundi), and it has led to the development of several other spinoff educational games.
Offline data capturing and online analytics was the second challenge Ncite tackled. The solution we created is a complex data platform for monitoring user activity, responses and behavior. The data is captured offline on tablets, then synced to a server once an Internet connection has been established, that sends personal information, demographic indicators, knowledge survey, skills and attitudes. Personal information can then be cross-referenced online with data from financial institutions and government databases to provide a richer background and behavioral information about the users, and later demonstrate, in aggregate, tendencies toward product use and accuracy in targeting.
Fundación Capital and its stakeholders have become convinced that when designed and implemented correctly, technological solutions can have significant social impact. A recent impact evaluation proved that LISTA users had better savings and budgeting habits, as well as more knowledge about basic personal finance, in comparison with their peers.