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Uptake and usage of Islamic Savings Accounts: Evidence from a randomized control trial
Last registered on January 29, 2020

Pre-Trial

Trial Information
General Information
Title
Uptake and usage of Islamic Savings Accounts: Evidence from a randomized control trial
RCT ID
AEARCTR-0005295
Initial registration date
January 28, 2020
Last updated
January 29, 2020 1:48 PM EST
Location(s)
Region
Primary Investigator
Affiliation
University of Groningen
Other Primary Investigator(s)
PI Affiliation
University of Groningen
PI Affiliation
University of Groningen
Additional Trial Information
Status
In development
Start date
2017-09-16
End date
2020-07-31
Secondary IDs
Abstract
Recently microfinance institutions (MFI) have started to experiment with financial products other than credit, such as savings products, to make them attractive for majority of the rural households. However, a major obstacle in these efforts is that often the uptake and use of the savings accounts is much lower than expected. Consequently, researchers started to study the causes behind the low uptake and utilization of formal savings instruments, and how the adoption and use of micro-savings accounts can be incentivized. Yet, none of the existing studies focus on Islamic MFIs. As the instruments Islamic MFIs possess to incentivize savings behavior differ from those used by conventional MFI, as Islamic microfinance institutions do not offer interest on savings accounts, it is of great importance to extend the study of questions regarding uptake and usage (as well as the impact) of micro-savings accounts to an Islamic setting. For this purpose, the study aims to examine i) take-up and usage of Islamic savings as well as ii) their impact on welfare and business activities among poor Muslim borrowers. We will further investigate what effect subsidization of motivating potential borrowers with appropriately chosen Islamic texts have/has on the aforementioned outcome variables.
External Link(s)
Registration Citation
Citation
Ahmad, Syadah, Robert Lensink and Annika Mueller. 2020. "Uptake and usage of Islamic Savings Accounts: Evidence from a randomized control trial." AEA RCT Registry. January 29. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.5295-1.0.
Sponsors & Partners

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Experimental Details
Interventions
Intervention(s)
Participants are offered a mixture of encouragement speech, assistance in filling the application forms, and a subsidy to motivate their take-up and usage of the Islamic savings account.
Intervention Start Date
2017-09-16
Intervention End Date
2017-09-22
Primary Outcomes
Primary Outcomes (end points)
Take up and usage of Islamic savings account
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
Take-up is simply the opening of the the Islamic savings account. However, usage is measured by using total and average number of deposits/withdrawals, and the total and average amount of deposits/withdrawals/savings (in relevant currency). For the amounts, we may take the logarithmic value of 1+amount (in relevant currency) or use the inverse hyperbolic distribution.
Secondary Outcomes
Secondary Outcomes (end points)
As secondary outcomes, we will examine the impact of our intervention(s) on welfare and business activities among poor Muslim borrowers.
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)
Experimental Design
Experimental Design
Based on an encouragement design, participants receive (or do not receive) an encouragement talk on savings benefits.
Furthermore, they are either/or not placed in subsidy and assistance provision group. In total we have 8 treatment arms.

Details of the experimental design are provided in pre-analysis plan
Experimental Design Details
Details are provided in pre-analysis plan
Randomization Method
Randomization is performed on Microsoft excel for some treatments whereas for others a public raffle is done.
Randomization Unit
We have both group and individual level randomization
Was the treatment clustered?
Yes
Experiment Characteristics
Sample size: planned number of clusters
24 branches
Sample size: planned number of observations
Approximately 2,000 participants
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
12 branches (having 1,094 participants) receive general encouragement speech
12 branches (having 1,126 participants) receive religious motivational speech
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
Details are provided in the pre-analysis plan
Supporting Documents and Materials

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IRB
INSTITUTIONAL REVIEW BOARDS (IRBs)
IRB Name
Agreement for role of conduct, research protocol and ethical clearance, Product Development & Shariah Compliance Department (PDSC), Meezan Bank
IRB Approval Date
2017-08-21
IRB Approval Number
N/A
IRB Name
Ethical Clearance, Akhuwat Headquarters
IRB Approval Date
2017-03-27
IRB Approval Number
N/A
IRB Name
Ethics Committee, Faculty of Economics and Business
IRB Approval Date
2017-10-31
IRB Approval Number
2017-10-06 ECFEB
Analysis Plan

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Post-Trial
Post Trial Information
Study Withdrawal
Intervention
Is the intervention completed?
No
Is data collection complete?
Data Publication
Data Publication
Is public data available?
No
Program Files
Program Files
Reports, Papers & Other Materials
Relevant Paper(s)
REPORTS & OTHER MATERIALS