The number of Zimbabweans with bank accounts has increased by 1.2 million to 3.3 million this year, according to a Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) survey.
In its 2022 report, FinScope also said financial inclusion in the country had generally improved. The FinScope survey read:
About 3,3 million or 46% of Zimbabweans are banked — this represents about 1,2 million adults (who) have been brought into the banking sphere between 2014 and 2022.
Youth (less than 25 years), senior adults (66+ years) and adults residing in rural areas are less likely to use bank services. Compared to 2014 there has been a notable increase in uptake of transactional accounts (either mobile money and or bank accounts) among all the groups, however, adults residing in rural areas and senior adults still lag in having formal accounts in their own name.
Overall, more adults are financially included in 2022 compared 2014, in all areas of access to formal financial products or services.
The FinScope Consumer Survey 2022 is the third such report following previous studies conducted in 2014 and 2011.
It interviewed about 3 000 people.
In August, RBZ deputy governor Jesimen Chikipa said while the number of financially included Zimbabweans had increased, it was still below the 90% target set by the central bank in 2016.
She attributed the rise in financial inclusion to a “robust” mobile money transfer system, although authorities were worried about the low uptake in Matabeleland provinces.
Chipika said the survey revealed that:
i). the most banked provinces were Bulawayo and Harare.
ii). Rural areas were riding on mobile money platforms.
iii). more efforts were still required to improve financial inclusion in Matabeleland North and South provinces.
She said this is likely to be a key target in the second phase of the National Financial Inclusion Strategy, which is underway.
Chipika said improved financial inclusion would be crucial in ironing out inequities between rural and urban populations in the country, which she traced back to colonial times.
However, the RBZ’s Quarterly Microfinance Report for Q2, 2022 revealed a decline in active bank accounts in Zimbabwe.
- Download: RBZ Q2,2022 Report
The report notes that as of March 2021, the total number of Bank Accounts was 9.06 million while the number of low-cost accounts was 5.82 million.
June 2021, bank accounts fell to 7.17 million; low-cost accounts dropped to 4.41 million.
September 2021, bank accounts further dropped to 6.69 million; low-cost accounts went up to 4.45 million.
December 2021, bank accounts went up to 8.17 million; low-cost accounts went up to 4.78 million.
March 2022, bank accounts dropped to 7.76 million; low-cost accounts went up to 4.83 million.