Zimbabwe’s low cost bank accounts have grown by 143 percent to 3,16 million in the first quarter of 2018, according to figures from the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ).
The figure represents 57 percent of the total number of bank accounts in the country, as at that period.
This comes as Government is pushing for financial inclusion for every Zimbabwean, in line with the country’s Financial Inclusion Policy that seeks to allow everyone access to formal financial services.
Figures from the apex bank show that as at March 30, 2018, there were 5,51 million bank accounts.
Of this, 3,16 were low-cost accounts.
A year earlier, the number of low cost accounts was 1,3 million before increasing to 1,56 million out of the industry’s 2,91 million total bank accounts by June 2017.
Government has been working on initiatives to increase financial literacy and inclusion for Zimbabweans.
In line with this, a thematic working group focusing on financial literacy was constituted under the National Financial Inclusion strategy.
As at May 04, 2018, the RBZ had reached out to more than 17 000 people through its financial literacy awareness campaigns, majority of which are women and youths.
RBZ deputy governor Dr Jesimen Chipika said: “The National Financial Inclusion Strategy identifies priority segments, which have been marginalised by their circumstances.
“These include women, micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs), smallholder farmers, rural population, youth and people living with disabilities.”
In order to enhance financial literacy and inclusion for the unbanked, the RBZ is implementing initiatives that include capacity building programmes for financial institutions to enhance their skills of serving the targeted segments.
This should see the country’s financial inclusion rate increasing as more Zimbabweans get access to formal financial services.