Just over nine million South Africans keep their money in a safe place at home.
This is according to the FinScope survey released on Wednesday in Johannesburg.
“There was an increase in the number of South Africans that were considered financially excluded,” FinScope said.
“Not only do these people keep their money at home in order to save but if they want to borrow, they borrow from family and friends.”
Around 27% of adults were financially excluded in 2011, up from 23% in 2010.
“Attitudes towards financial institutions may be a barrier to financial inclusion,” FinScope said.
Lack of knowledge
The survey indicated that South Africans were concerned about bank charges and fees while financial literacy and a lack of knowledge about other financial institutions was evident.
However, many considered having a bank account as aspirational and recognised its value.
The survey found that financial education was a key predictor of financial inclusion.
Individuals who were well informed had a higher change of being served and this created an opportunity for financial institutions to broaden their focus to all individuals who earned an income.
“Results consistently indicate that South Africans interact with their cell phones regularly, which provides a major opportunity for increasing financial inclusion via cell phone banking,” the survey added. — I-Net Bridge