In my first blog, I touched on financial inclusion and felt the need to actually expound on it this week.
So what then is financial inclusion?
Financial inclusion means that formal financial services—such as deposit and savings accounts, payment services, loans, and insurance—are readily available to consumers and that they are actively and effectively using these services to meet their specific needs (CGAP 2011). In this post, we shall focus on how these products and experiences will reach the consumers.
While technology is changing, the way financial services are provided to the underserved will be critical to success. Financial inclusion helps to make basic , essential services and utilities like energy, health , education and water more accessible to people at the bottom of the economic pyramid. According to FinAccess 2016 survey report 75.3% of Kenyans are now formally included; a 50% increase in the last 10 years. Financial exclusion, which is now down to 17.4%, has more than halved since 2006.
Formal inclusion for men has risen steadily since 2006, for women, formal inclusion leapt between 2009 and 2013 driven by the spread of mobile financial services. This has lessened women’s exclusive reliance on the use of informal services. Compared to men, however, women still have lower access to formal prudentially regulated services such as banks (35% for women compared to 50% for men).
For you to be in the financial inclusion bubble you need to strategically position yourself by;
- Account ownership.This is the first step towards financial inclusion. More than 65 percent of account users in developing countries report having used their accounts at least three times a month, to save, or to make or receive electronic payments directly from their account so what happens to the 35% who are unbanked? Well take the step and get an account or get that neighbour, friend or relative who is unbanked.Undeniably 75% of the Kenyan population is rural and you are a catalyst of financial inclusion by reaching out to them.
- Taking advantage of the bank agent models available. For example The Jirani, Mashinani , Mtaani agents and the likes that are made available just for you as a strategy by the industry player to achieve financial inclusion.
- Exploring the existing options .some of us have mobile banking options on our phones but we opt not use just because we are naive or still have trust issues in the banking service sector.It’s about time we explored on the existing options available; mobile money accounts can actually drive financial inclusion.
- Paying private-sector wages and government wages and transfers digitally (as opposed to in cash). Through our newly developed government portals and mandatory online payment modes available for its citizens, for example, Huduma centre payment systems, The e-citizen App among others.The use of such will provide a first entry point into the formal financial system.
These are just but a few of the steps that ensure you are financially included in the formal financial system.
To find out more on these key steps, look out for the next blog as we talk more on the game changers in finance.
Have a financially included week.