Picture credit: Fiona Graham / WorldRemit

Uganda scored a 78 per cent score, coming hot after South Africa and Columbia who also scored same percentage from the study.

Kenya received 86 per cent of the total possible points across all four dimensions, ranking first out of all countries surveyed, for the third time in a row and was followed by Brazil and Mexico at 79 per cent.

The 2017 report assesses the countries’ financial inclusion ecosystems based on four dimensions of financial inclusion: country commitment, mobile capacity, regulatory environment, and adoption of selected traditional and digital financial services.

The report examines key developments in the global financial inclusion landscape, highlights selected financial inclusion initiatives within the 26 FDIP countries over the previous year, and provides targeted recommendations aimed at advancing financial inclusion.

“Countries have increasingly recognised that advancing access to and usage of affordable, secure formal financial services can contribute to their development objectives,” said FDIP authors Robin Lewis, John Villasenor and Darrell West.

Source: Brookings.edu

Country Commitment
Uganda scored 100 per cent on country commitment which looked at variables such as national outlook and participation in international financial inclusion-oriented organizations or networks, existence of a comprehensive national financial inclusion strategy which is in development and importantly the existence of a consumer protection framework regarding financial services. Kenya managed to gunner 86 per cent on country commitment in comparison.

Regulatory Environment
The state of the regulatory environment also earned Uganda a whooping 94 per cent being assessed on financial institutions’ contract with other legal entities to serve as agents to provide financial services, eligibility of mobile network operators to apply for licenses or other formal approval from the regulator to lead mobile money deployments, regulations on e-money and Mobile Money platform interoperability which MTN and Airtel Uganda already have in place.

Mobile Capacity
This dimension of financial inclusion assessed market penetration with respect to unique subscribers as a percentage of the total subscribers in the market divided by the total population at the end of the period. Other factors included smartphone adoption rate, availability of bill payments, international remittances and merchant payments via Mobile Money. Uganda managed 78 per cent in this category.

Uganda scored very poorly getting below 5 per cent in the areas of credit and debit card use as well as percentage of adults utilizing online bill payments and purchases. It also managed an average of 35 per cent for mobile money account penetration among lower-income adults and women. And an average of 25 per cent for borrowing and saving from a financial institution. This category earned a total of 58 per cent for Uganda.