Ever of radius · Adequate bank branches with citizens

Ever since the coining of the
words Financial Inclusion, nations tried to move towards the goal of advancing
financial literacy and ensuring reliability and accessibility of financial
services for their citizens.

 

To understand where they stand as
compared to all other countries that pledged to recognize the importance of
financial inclusion, the 2015 Financial and Digital Inclusion Project Report
and Scorecard ranked 21 countries based on four aspects of financial
inclusion: mobile capacity, regulatory environment, adoption of traditional and
digital financial services and country commitment.

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Kenya, South Africa, Brazil,
Rwanda and Uganda turned out to be ones with highest Financial Inclusion.
Following points will illustrate why these nations have fared well.

 

As of August 2014 about 90
percent of Kenyan households had used mobile money services. Kenya permits both
banks and nonbank institutions to offer financial services. Diverse mobile
money offers have been introduced that allow customers to pay bills, purchase
insurance and send remittances to other people, among other services.

 

·        
Vibrant mobile money ecosystem

·        
Majority population has a financial access point within 3 kms of
radius

·        
Adequate bank branches with citizens actively involved in
depositing money, withdrawing money, receiving and sending money, borrowing
loans and saving at a bank

·        
Central bank’s willingness to provide an enabling environment for
digital services to evolve

·        
Introduction of  mobile
money deployment m-pesa

·        
74 mobile cellular subscriptions per 100 people in kenya.

·        
Introduction of  m-shwari,
kcb m-pesa account, lipa na m-pesa, akiba mkononi

·        
Increased the accessibility and cost-effectiveness of financial
services 

·        
Inexpensive mobile money agents services

·        
Revised banking act and guidelines, prudential guidelines on
consumer protection, revised agent guidelines for commercial banks, national payment
systems act and regulations

·        
All electronic money issuers in the country need to have open
back-end systems

 

South Africa stood 2nd
position in the list. As of 2014, around 75 percent of adults had bank accounts
or have participation in banking system and 5 percent used non-bank financial
products which are considered to be the part of economy’s financial system.

ATM and debit cards are more in
use, with nearly 30 percent of the banked population owning a South African
Social Security MasterCard. Women in South Africa are not disproportionately
excluded from formal financial services.

 

·        
Increase in banking and associated ownership of ATM/debit cards —
for example, approximately

·        
Rising insurance levels

·        
Increased bank transactions, increase in savings and investments,
borrowing

·        
High level of mobile subscriptions

·        
Active agent outlets

·        
Re-launch of M-Pesa mobile money service with more points of
service

·        
National Treasury

·        
Setting higher goals for transactions point availability once
achieved

·        
Mzansi account, launched in as a basic bank account for low-income
populations

·        
Financial Intelligence Centre Act was developed as an anti-money
laundering and counterterrorism measure

·        
South Africa’s national identity system has been credited with
facilitating effective identification and uptake

·        
“12 percent of adults in South Africa held a SASSA MasterCard
associated with bank accounts opened for grant recipients”

·        
South Africa’s regulations permit banks to use third-party
entities to offer banking services on their behalf

·        
Bank-led model in which organizations must have a banking license
or partner with a bank in order to offer mobile financial services

 

There were regulatory changes
made for Brazil and Rwanda to enable alternatives for financial services, for
example banking services were offered through retailers, post offices and
lottery outlets, and mobile money services led by bank and non-bank
institutions.

·        
High
literacy rates

·        
Relatively
young population

·        
High
level of urban concentration

·        
Extensive
financial infrastructure – adequate number of municipalities and commercial
bank branches

·        
People
are involved in financial activities – existence of bank accounts, loan
borrowing, savings and investments, use of social card, cash transfers from
government

·        
Widespread
awareness of broader financial services

·        
Widespread
banking correspondents

·        
Competitive
telecommunications sector is quite with multiple players

 

Other countries can improve their
financial access by strengthening infrastructure, reforming their policies and
regulations, and by improving adoption levels. For example, in Ethiopia, high
poverty levels and limited infrastructure make it challenging to engage the
local population.

In Afghanistan, unrelenting
instability has resulted in limited access to formal financial services. Even
though there is focus on reconstruction, telecommunications and banking
infrastructure remain limited. Moreover, there is widespread mistrust of the
banking system. Even if people do want to access formal financial services,
many live too far from a bank branch to reach those access points easily. Yet
with over 80 percent of the population now covered by a 3G mobile network, the
country is poised for higher utilization of mobile financial services in the
future.

 

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