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Study on low-income households unveiled

THE Financial Sector Deepening Zambia (FSDZ) has launched the Zambian Financial Diaries, a study of how low-income households manage their money, deal with emergencies and accumulate assets.
Last year, FSDZ contracted Microfinance Opportunities to carry out the intensive research which involved enumerators visiting the same 352 households every week to record the family’s financial transactions.
Bank of Zambia (BoZ) deputy governor operations Bwalya Ng’andu said by providing information on how households spend, the results of the study will help financial institutions overcome this problem by addressing what customers want through their products.
“Most of us recognise that a key hindrance to widening financial inclusion is the lack of financial products that speak the needs of would-be clients.”
“Another way of expressing this problem is to say that certain sectors of our populations do not access formal financial products and services because they see them [as being] irrelevant to their needs and circumstances ,” Dr Ng’andu said at the launch of the study on Wednesday.
He said making the results of the study available will help policy-makers, regulators and other market players to have information they need for the continued growth of an inclusive financial sector that supports all aspects of the Zambian economy.
The results are also expected to provide motivation to financial providers and help them to identify new product opportunities and explore ways of improving service delivery to the Zambian citizens.
“The findings of this research are extremely important in helping us understand how low-income households manage their financial lives and how best we can increase access to the most useful financial services for our most vulnerable populations,” he said.
Earlier, FSDZ chief executive officer Betty Wilkinson said financial institutions need to take advantage of the findings of the study to come up with relevant products for low-income households.