Zambia: The financial sector urged to be innovative

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By Staff Reporter

IN a country where only 40 percent of the adult population, just 3.5 million people, are part of the mainstream monetary services, financial sector players must be innovative and find ways of reaching those Zambians who are financially excluded, an International Development Company has urged.

According to the FinScope Zambia 2015 survey, the levels of formal financial inclusion have gradually increased in Zambia, from 23 percent of Zambian adults in 2009, to 38 percent in 2015.

In its quest to make sure that there is more financial inclusion in the country, Financial Sector Deepening Zambia (FSDZ), Thursday launched a new innovation support facility called FinClient-Centric Cycle.

The FinClient-Centric Cycle will leverage on end-user evidence and insights to help financial service providers to adopt new business models in the pursuit of business viability and client value.

In a speech read on his behalf by Director for Economics in the Finance Ministry, Ireen Habasimbi, Secretary to Zambia’s Treasury, Fredson Yamba hailed this innovation support facility because it seeks to influence the development of appropriate financial services in the country.

“Access to and usage of a broad range of quality and affordable financial products and services would be open up opportunities for better livelihoods,”  Yamba said.

FSDZ Chief Executive Officer, Betty Wilkinson, concurred that the new financial product will also use direct consumer interaction to develop and deliver innovative and responsive financial products.

“Through the F3C approach, financial institutions will be supported in finding the optimal balance between business viability and client value,” she said.

Wilkinson added that through the human centered design approach to product development, companies around the world have been able to achieve business viability.