Viewpoint: South African Banks Need to Do More to Ensure Financial Inclusion
An analysis of financial inclusion in South Africa shows that affordability limits poor households’ access to formal financial services. In our study, which looked at people’s use of financial goods and services between 2008 and 2015, we found that there was a general increase in use. But this was severely skewed to households with higher incomes.
Financial inclusion is broadly defined as the ability of people to access a range of affordable financial services. Among these are bank and savings accounts, loans and insurance products. Households that are financially excluded can’t take part in various forms of savings or wealth accumulation. These range from paying bills via direct debit to gaining favourable forms of credit.
Photo courtesy of Simon Berry.