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The importance of digital finance for financial inclusion in South Africa

Day 160/365 - June 9, 2009 It's about 8 Rand per US dollar. When I went to the grocery store to buy food, I just held out my hand with the coins because I can't figure it out yet.

The Banking Association of South Africa defines Financial Inclusion as a development that improves the “range, quality and availability of financial services and products focusing on the unserved, under-served and financially excluded. Principles of financial inclusion include: access, affordability, appropriateness, usage, quality, consumer financial education, innovation and diversification, and simplicity.”

According to Bank SETA, 53% of the country’s adult population is unbanked. The reasons vary, including the fear of exploitation, an inability to access physical bank buildings, strict FICA requirements and the steep fees. But factors like the lack of trust in the traditional banking sector, concerns about safety and security, time, and convenience all contribute as well.

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