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Penny to Penny


The Penny to Penny project motivated low-income people to save through financial and non-financial incentives

The project tested the ability and willingness of people to regularly save over a 6-month period. By reaching out to low income people, social welfare recipients, the disabled, pensioners and people in rural areas, we tried to find out:

  • What is the most effective savings incentive?
  • Who is most likely to participate in savings promotion schemes?
  • How can we teach low-income people why and how to save?

What incentives did we offer?

We tested two strategies:

  • Savings rewards: We offered one group the opportunity to win money in the “Penny to Penny” competition — either matched savings (up to $70) or a lottery prize (up to $430). To qualify, they needed to save regularly in their bank accounts.
  • Savings reminders: We sent the second group regular savings reminders, either through monthly postcards or weekly text messages.

Learn more

This project (July 2010-December 2011) was financed by the Levi Strauss Foundation.