BCG recently undertook extensive research into the process of financial inclusion in South Africa. This primary research which is based on surveys, interviews and a fresh analytical approach, yielded several interesting themes about the country’s use and perceptions of forma banking channels.
South Africa is a country of both promise and peril. Despite being the largest economy on the African Continent, the nation is plagued by high levels of unemployment, a poor education system and staggering income inequality. Underscoring the country’s struggle to translate its rich natural resources and other assets into social benefit, South Africa ranked 149th out of 162 in its ability to convert wealth into well-being1, according to BCG’s most recent Sustainable Economic Development Assessment (SEDA).
While financial inclusion—the adoption, usage and sustainability of financial services—generally is linked to socioeconomic development, driving financial inclusion as a way to improve well-being faces numerous challenges in the South African context.