My thesis contribute to important issues in development economics and household finance: how to tailor financial products for the poor and how to raise the usage and knowledge of semi-formal financial products. Two of the chapters look at the impact of a debit card which is a simple financial innovation offered to low-income individuals, while the third chapter looks at using financial literacy training to increase knowledge and usage of financial products. Conventional banking systems were by default not designed with low-income households in mind, although this income segment would collectively offer a lucrative clientele. The banking system’s costing structure, accessibility, and complexity of formal financial products make them unsuitable and expensive for those who are economically and educationally challenged. For this very reason, such individuals tend to seek other financial alternatives to meet their financial needs, which are often the more accessible semi-formal or informal channels such as family and friends, and high-risk informal credit channels such as loan sharks that usually have exorbitant fees. My thesis looks at how these alternative financial products influence individual ownership of formal financial products, intra-household decision-making, and society in general and ways to promote such financial products. The first chapter examines how switching from cash payout to debit cards affects an individual’s financial decisions. The second chapter looks at the impact of debit cards on women’s empowerment and intra-household consumption patterns. The final chapter takes a different approach and examines how mobile money and financial literacy training coupled with text message reminders influence an individual’s mobile money knowledge and usage and formal financial products in general.