South Africa Banks Making Efforts to Reach and Integrate the Unbanked Population
Given South Africa’s history and economy, financial inclusion is a serious issue for the country. It is committed to making up for the disparities of the apartheid era and it wants and needs to improve the lives of its poorer citizens, as much for the economy as for the sake of the people themselves. As such, the country has worked for more than a decade to get more South Africans banked and serviced by financial institutions, with various programmes and policies implemented and no shortage of investments made. The results have been mixed. There is still plenty of work to do. South Africa has been working for some time to get the unbanked into the system. Under the 2004 Mzansi account initiative, for example, the country’s “Big Four” banks and the South African Post Office (SAPO) created a new set of products that were specifically designed for low-income individuals. These products had a cap on pricing and no monthly management fee.
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