The government says it is in the process of conducting a consumer survey called Finscope to assess the level of financial inclusion in the country. The survey is expected to be completed by October this year.
At least $252 000 has been availed for the survey.
In his Mid-Term Fiscal Policy Review Finance minister Tendai Biti said the survey is being carried out by Zimbabwe Statistical Agency (Zimstat) in collaboration with Finmark Trust to guide policy formulation and raise the level of financial inclusion in the country.
Financial inclusion is the delivery of financial services at affordable costs to vast sections of disadvantaged and low income groups.
“The hyper-inflation period that culminated in the introduction of the multi-currency system led to severe financial disintermediation and financial exclusion of the greater portion of the Zimbabwean population. It is therefore important to vigorously pursue the financial inclusion agenda through the development of a national financial inclusion policy,” Biti said.
According to documents availed by Zimstat the study will be carried out by Finmark Trust as the implementer while Zimstat, would be the service provider of the study.
Finmark Trust is a non-profit institution based in South Africa that has carried out research to identify factors that prevent financial markets from reaching out to poor consumers in 14 countries.
“A household questionnaire has been developed based on the situation in Zimbabwe, “ Zimstats said.
Zimstat said the study will last for four months and activities include finalising the questionnaire design, listing of households, data collection, data capture and processing, report writing and analysis and dissemination.
Biti said the banking and mobile sectors of the economy were working out on an interoperability system to include all other banks on the mobile banking platform.
“The government is ready to assist wherever possible to ensure the mobile banking system takes off successfully for the benefit of the unbanked and under-banked members of our economy,” he said.