KABANDA CHULU, Lusaka
MOST Zambians are not willing to take up financial products that donâ€™t suit their immediate consumer needs, latest findings of the Making Access Possible (MAP) Initiative have revealed.
The MAP Initiative is an international diagnostic and analytic process to help increase financial inclusion.
Presenting the findings of the survey yesterday, Centre for Financial Regulation and Inclusion (CENFRI) managing director Doubell Chamberlain said there is need to explore different models that should empower local people to take ownership in financial programmes.
He said the MAPÂ process engages a wide range of stakeholders and key data resources to better understand the most important constraints to market demand, supply and regulation.
â€œOur focus is client-centred, and we try to be pragmatic by narrowing down recommendations to specific priorities. For the Zambian market, we think there is need to improve how payments are made, using both digital and non-digital platforms. Also, there is need for financial products that better meet the needs of lenders and savers, and the need for a modern and comprehensive regulatory environment,â€ he said.
Earlier, Financial Sector Deepening Zambia chief executive officer Betty Wilkinson said the MAP analysis has helped identify three issues to be worked on to improve the financial lives of people.
And Ministry of Finance permanent secretary for budget and economic affairs Pamela Kabamba said the recommendations can feed directly into the creation of Governmentâ€™s financial inclusion strategy.
â€œThe analysis shows the importance of innovative policies and products supporting payments. It is often said that Zambians donâ€™t have a savings culture. However, the analysis shows us that large numbers of Zambians do save.
â€œZambians understand what they need and will take up financial products that suit their needs, and if the products do not address the concerns consumers have, like paying school fees or for planting, such products will not be widely used. So products should consider key life events,â€ she said.
KABANDA CHULU, Lusaka