Serving Underserved Customers: 4 Themes from Tala’s Impact Study

Our findings confirm the need for accessible financial tools, the power of financial choice, and the impact on customers when they have the ability to take control of their financial lives.

Impact Study _Blogheader_Findings

As part of Tala’s 2022 Global Impact Report, we commissioned an impact study of our customers conducted by impact measurement company 60 Decibels in October 2022 that assessed how digital loans have affected our borrowers’ lives across our emerging markets, including Kenya, Mexico, the Philippines, and India. Our findings from this report bring to light the need for more accessible financial tools, the power of financial choice, and the impact on customers when they have the ability to take control of their financial lives. While we encourage you to explore Tala’s 2022 Global Impact Report, which includes our commitments, impact initiatives, and internal metrics, read on for key findings about the effects of Tala’s digital loans.

Access to financial services

Underserved customers have the capability to grow their financial lives, but don’t always have access to the tools they need. Nearly two-thirds of borrowers surveyed reported they did not have prior access to a service like Tala and reported accessing a digital loan for the first time. As we expand our product offerings this year, more people will be able to access digital loans and other financial services — services unattainable or unavailable elsewhere. Already, four in five reported not being able to find a good alternative to Tala’s digital loans. This is a customer base that is consistently underserved but has so much potential. According to this study, a majority of Tala’s customers who take out a loan reported making less than $6.33 a day. We’re dedicated to enabling more opportunities for the financially underestimated to borrow, save and grow their money.

Choice of financial options

Tala customers use loans to improve household, financial, and personal outcomes, confirming the importance of options of financial tools. The study asked respondents about their loan use and frequency. Across our markets, one in five borrowers surveyed reported taking a digital loan from Tala every month, but trends vary by market. About 70% of customers surveyed in Kenya use their loans for business purposes. Meanwhile, 69% of customers surveyed in Mexico and 74% of customers surveyed in the Philippines reported using their loans for personal use, mainly for paying bills and managing household expenses. In India, 86% reported using their loans for non-business purposes. With new solutions on the horizon, we’ll be able to support customers with services beyond loans to ensure they have the products they need when they need them.

Customer control of their financial lives

When underserved borrowers are enabled with access to Tala’s digital financial services, they’re able to take control of their financial lives with impactful results. According to the study, three-quarters of borrowers reported an improvement in their overall quality of life because of Tala, with one in five saying it has significantly improved. Notably, eight out of 10 of Tala’s customers in emerging markets reported feeling confident in covering a financial emergency. 

Improvements were noted across the board. Of the Tala borrowers who participated in the study, 77% reported improved financial management and 63% reported decreased financial stress. Women borrowers, in particular, acknowledged meaningful impacts due to Tala — 80% reported increased self-confidence because of Tala’s loans, and 58% reported an increase in their influence on decision-making; of those, 67% talked about having more financial independence. 

Financial services built on trust

To establish trust, we design our products specifically for the underserved customer base with a unique product that is easy to use, and customers are satisfied. Nearly all borrowers trust Tala with their personal information, which is essential for Tala to provide our customers with these financial services. Tala has an average Net Promoter Score® of 68 across all markets, and overall, 64% reported finding it ‘very easy’ to receive a digital loan from Tala. We’re aiming to increase this metric and make it even easier for new customers to use Tala tools and services. Stay tuned for upcoming announcements.

Despite progress to bring in the unbanked, many digital financial services are not reaching the people who can most benefit from these disruptive technologies. At Tala, we’re expanding access to foundational services to the underserved and providing these services in a way that has proven effective and responsible for this customer base. We’ll continue to track these metrics to ensure our products and services meet the needs of our customers.


Commissioned by Tala, impact measurement company 60 Decibels conducted 1008 phone interviews with Tala’s digital loan borrowers in Kenya, Mexico, the Philippines and India in October 2022. The borrowers were randomly selected from a random sample of Tala’s borrower database. 60 Decibels is a global, tech-enabled impact measurement company that brings speed and repeatability to social impact measurement and customer insights.