Latest Publications

Making Access Possible (MAP) Zambia

From 2009 to 2015 the proportion of adults, financially excluded from any financial service, decreased from 63% to 41% in Zambia, which exceeded the Zambian Government‘s national target of 50%. More than 14% of these adults now use mobile money services, whilst the largest growth has been in the use of banking services – from 14% of adults in 2009 to nearly a quarter of adults in 2015.

 

However, much of this growth hides the reality for the majority of adults in Zambia who have yet to reap the full benefits of financial inclusion. Most adults still rely largely on informal financial services, while formal products are used infrequently to meet a limited number of financial needs. Bank accounts, for example, remain largely dormant. Some are used as mailboxes to make or receive payments and most adults still save using informal savings groups or under the proverbial mattress. Retail credit still remains constrained and unable to contribute effectively to growth in the economy. More than 70% of adults still borrow for short term expenses from family and friends while less than 5% borrow from banks, less than 3% from MFIs.

Proportionate Regulatory Frameworks in Inclusive Insurance: Lessons from a Decade of Microinsurance Regulation

It is slightly over a decade since the first microinsurance regulations were introduced in India in 2005. With at least 18 insurance supervisors having rolled out microinsurance regulations today, the landscape is now vastly different. In this milestone publication 'Proportionate Regulatory Frameworks in Inclusive Insurance: Lessons from a Decade of Microinsurance Regulation', the Acess to Insurance Initiative (A2ii) looks back at what supervisory approaches have been undertaken since then, and draw lessons from the past. 

Cross-Border Remittances Study 2016

The World Bank estimates that in 2016 remittances from migrant workers to developing countries will be worth USD 440 billion. More than twice that of foreign aid. Remittances play a critical role in supporting the welfare for many individuals and households in developing countries. Moreover, remittances can contribute to economic growth, with research indicating that it can have a greater impact than ODA and FDI. However, many developing countries struggle to leverage these remittances.

 

One of the major impediments is the cost and ease of sending remittances. Nowhere is this more evident than in the remittance corridors between South Africa and the rest of the Southern African Development Community (SADC), which are amongst the most expensive in the world. According to data collected by the World Bank as recently as 2015, the global average of sending remittances was ~7%. From South Africa, it was ~17%. Further, due to identification requirements and distribution challenges, many adults rely on informal channels.

Why use accounts: Understanding account usage through a consumer lens

Over the past five years, the move towards digital financial services and simplified account opening procedures has improved the take-up of accounts by the low-income sector. The 2014 Global Findex data highlighted that the number of people without access to formal accounts decreased from 2.5 billion in 2011 to 2 billion in 2014. Whilst recognised as a major achievement, it is clear amongst the global community that account ownership alone is not, in itself, the goal of financial inclusion.

 

The World Bank has encapsulated this objective in their target of universal financial access by 2020. Their vision is for adults to have “access to a transaction account or an electronic instrument to store money, send payments and receive deposits as the basic building block to manage their financial lives”. The ultimate goal beyond this initiative is to “reduce the world’s poverty  and increase prosperity”. 

 
Latest Publications

Making Access Possible (MAP) Zambia

From 2009 to 2015 the proportion of adults, financially excluded from any financial service, decreased from 63% to 41% in Zambia, which exceeded the Zambian Government‘s national target of 50%. More than 14% of these adults now use mobile money services, whilst the largest growth has been in the use of banking services – from 14% of adults in 2009 to nearly a quarter of adults in 2015.

 

However, much of this growth hides the reality for the majority of adults in Zambia who have yet to reap the full benefits of financial inclusion. Most adults still rely largely on informal financial services, while formal products are used infrequently to meet a limited number of financial needs. Bank accounts, for example, remain largely dormant. Some are used as mailboxes to make or receive payments and most adults still save using informal savings groups or under the proverbial mattress. Retail credit still remains constrained and unable to contribute effectively to growth in the economy. More than 70% of adults still borrow for short term expenses from family and friends while less than 5% borrow from banks, less than 3% from MFIs.

Proportionate Regulatory Frameworks in Inclusive Insurance: Lessons from a Decade of Microinsurance Regulation

It is slightly over a decade since the first microinsurance regulations were introduced in India in 2005. With at least 18 insurance supervisors having rolled out microinsurance regulations today, the landscape is now vastly different. In this milestone publication 'Proportionate Regulatory Frameworks in Inclusive Insurance: Lessons from a Decade of Microinsurance Regulation', the Acess to Insurance Initiative (A2ii) looks back at what supervisory approaches have been undertaken since then, and draw lessons from the past. 

Cross-Border Remittances Study 2016

The World Bank estimates that in 2016 remittances from migrant workers to developing countries will be worth USD 440 billion. More than twice that of foreign aid. Remittances play a critical role in supporting the welfare for many individuals and households in developing countries. Moreover, remittances can contribute to economic growth, with research indicating that it can have a greater impact than ODA and FDI. However, many developing countries struggle to leverage these remittances.

 

One of the major impediments is the cost and ease of sending remittances. Nowhere is this more evident than in the remittance corridors between South Africa and the rest of the Southern African Development Community (SADC), which are amongst the most expensive in the world. According to data collected by the World Bank as recently as 2015, the global average of sending remittances was ~7%. From South Africa, it was ~17%. Further, due to identification requirements and distribution challenges, many adults rely on informal channels.

Why use accounts: Understanding account usage through a consumer lens

Over the past five years, the move towards digital financial services and simplified account opening procedures has improved the take-up of accounts by the low-income sector. The 2014 Global Findex data highlighted that the number of people without access to formal accounts decreased from 2.5 billion in 2011 to 2 billion in 2014. Whilst recognised as a major achievement, it is clear amongst the global community that account ownership alone is not, in itself, the goal of financial inclusion.

 

The World Bank has encapsulated this objective in their target of universal financial access by 2020. Their vision is for adults to have “access to a transaction account or an electronic instrument to store money, send payments and receive deposits as the basic building block to manage their financial lives”. The ultimate goal beyond this initiative is to “reduce the world’s poverty  and increase prosperity”. 

 

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