Scale2Save Programme report: "Savings and Retail Banking in Africa"
Results from 2018 WSBI member bank survey
Focusing on the needs of customers remains a challenge for savings and retail banks in Africa, according to a new report issued in January 2019 by WSBI’s Scale2Save Programme, a partnership between WSBI and Mastercard Foundation. Based on a survey of 34 WSBI Africa institutions in 2018, the 50-page report finds that member banks offer a variety of transaction and savings accounts as part of their drive to attract and satisfy customers. But it also found their product and service mix still falls short of customer needs. That shortfall could decrease account activity and hamper take-up by potential customers. If this persists, banks surveyed could face weak financial performances.
>> See report
Coming soon: Scale2Save 1st Peer Review Workshop
This workshop is the first of the Scale2Save programme's bi-annual peer exchanges that will focus on programme and project activities and learning.
Some 35 people will attend, including those from eight partner banks from seven countries. Attendees also expected come from programme partner Mastercard Foundation, selected policy makers, technology providers as well as partners from the Mastercard Foundation Savings Learning Lab.
>> Learn more
Scale2Save: Al Barid Bank project in Morocco
A brief, first-hand account of how the Scale2Save programme is taking shape in Morocco. Project partner Al Barid Bank puts in motion its mobile-based banking service in the town of Ben Guerir, where merchants and customers alike are testing high-tech banking services on the ground.
WSBI's Ian Radcliffe explains the project aim and how it fits into the greater aim of the Scale2Save programme.
>> See the video on YouTube
>> Learn more about the Scale2Save project in Morocco
Scale2Save: By the numbers.
Target: 1 million more people banked
Investment: $16 million
Geographic scope: 6 countries in Africa (+one learning partner country)
Projects: 7 with innovative models
Timeframe: 6 years | September 2016 to February 2022
Scale2Save is a programme that tests and applies with partner banks in six African countries new business models that focus on people's sensitivity to price and demand of bank services and products. Aimed at supporting banks to reach scale and sustainability with low-balance accounts, the programme seeks to target low-income, unbanked people and to address account dormancy and inactivity rates by them.
Programme work is anchored by developing viable business models with regional banks that create high-impact results that widen financial inclusion in a business-sustainable way. To do this, Scale2Save relies on customer insight to help develop those models by working together with local financial institutions and partner organisations.
The programme supports technical assistance to banks. It also conducts research to provide evidence to banks that low-balance savings is possible. Learnings harvested from the programme will be shared with the wider banking sector and relevant stakeholders. At the same time, Scale2Save is committed to boost banks' reliability too. That means weaving the programme's aims into the fabric of partner bank strategies, encourage needed culture change within their organisations while fostering a continuous learning environment for people working within them.
Why it's important.
- People boost their well-being when they have access and make use of savings mechanisms like a basic account.
- There is need to widen financial inclusion to unbanked people and demonstrate to them that banks can be trusted partners in their financial lives.
- Banks taking part will find customer-centric approaches to address barriers like access, use and affordability of savings services. That approach grows customer bases that become more active. Customer centricity also helps raise bank reputation and instils greater customer trust. Weaving centricity into bank strategies further triggers innovation-led ways to connect better with customers. It also drives culture change within participating banks.
- Innovation-driven, customer-centric banks transform into continuous learning organisations, which helps them fulfil their aim to bring to scale account access and use levels and to attain international and national financial access goals.
> Which business models result in sustainable business cases for financially disadvantaged segments?
> Does greater customer centricity lead to customer growth accompanied by more active customer bases?
>What are the causes of such a high degree of account inactivity in the target countries and worldwide?
>What are the most effective drivers of usage and which innovative approaches are most successful
in stimulating account activity among financially disadvantaged people?
>To what extent do different pricing models stimulate demand for financial services from banks?
In partnership with Mastercard Foundation
The Mastercard Foundation seeks a world where everyone has the opportunity to learn and prosper. The Foundation's work is guided by its mission to advance learning and promote financial inclusion for people living in poverty. One of the largest foundations in the world, it works almost exclusively in Africa. It was created in 2006 by Mastercard International and operates independently under the governance of its own Board of Directors. The Foundation is based in Toronto, Canada. For more information and to sign up for the Foundation's newsletter, please visit mastercardfdn.org. Follow the Foundation at @MastercardFdn on Twitter.