Tanzania Improves Financial Services Inclusion

According to Finscope Tanzania 2013 survey, a nationally representative study of consumers’ perceptions on financial services and issues, the number of adults using financial services in the country has more than doubled from 27% to 57.4%, over the course of the last four years.

The report shows that 3.3 million people (14% of adult population) are using formal banks, 43.5% are using mobile phone services and non-bank money services, 15.8% are using informal mechanisms, while 26.8% of the population (17 million adults) is yet completely excluded from any type of financial services.

Combined with the abovementioned services, around half of Tanzanians are also using savings and loan groups, micro-finance institutions, and saving and cooperative societies.

Finscope 2013 report states increased level of financial knowledge in Tanzania, a growth of 5% in non-formal products, and a rise in insurance numbers.

The initial goal of the Government was to achieve 50% of inclusion by 2016, and given that this number is already reached, the Governor of the Bank of Tanzania (BoT), Prof Benno Ndulu, says the aim should be now to include three quarters of the population.

“During 2011 we set a target of reaching 50%by the year 2016 but we have managed to surpass the target thanks to mobile money services which have helped deepen financial services”, announced Prof Ndulu, adding: “Over half of all adult Tanzanians – 12 million people – now use their mobile phones to remit, receive, and save money, or to pay bills.”

Such results were announced to be a “quiet revolution which is having a profound effect on the financial landscape in Tanzania” by Prof Ndulu.

Finscope 2013 had interviewed 8,000 people both in Mainland and in Zanzibar, and combined the data with the National Census 2012 report.

Finscopes published two previous reports in 2009 and 2006, funded by the Tanzanian Financial Sector Deepening Trust (FSDP), whose goal is to achieve improved capacity of the financial sector in the country.

FinScope is a FinMark Trust initiative. Established in 2002 FinMark Trust is an independent trust funded primarily by UKaid, whose objective is “Making financial markets work for the poor”.