Results from Finscope Consumer Survey Botswana 2014

FinMark Trust released the results of its third FinScope Consumer Botswana 2014 survey results on 14 July 2015. The FinScope Survey, developed by FinMark Trust, is a research tool to assess financial access in a country and to identify the constraints that prevent financial service providers from reaching the financially under- and unserved people. The FinScope Survey is a nationally representative survey of how individuals source their incomes and how they manage their financial lives. It also provides insight into attitudes and perceptions regarding financial products and services. To date, FinScope Consumer Surveys have been conducted in 21 countries including Botswana. Surveys are underway in 6 countries – 2 in SADC, 3 in Asia and 1 in East Africa. Click here to download report.

Below are some of the highlights from the 2014 survey, conducted between October and December 2014, with a national representati ve sample of 1503 adults.

Financial inclusion overview

The study revealed that banking in Botswana is driven by the uptake of transactional products and savings. 50% of the population are banked, indicating an increase from 45% in 2009, while 39% use informal mechanisms to manage their finances. The percentage of those who do not have/use any financial products/services, neither formal nor informal is at 24% – these individuals save their money at home, and they rely on family and friends to borrow money. Financial inclusion is higher among adults residing in cities and towns (86%) compared to those living in urban villages (78%) and rural areas (64%). There is a higher rate of inclusion among males (79%) than females (73%). The study shows that Botswana ranks number 5 in the SADC region with regards to financial inclusion.


For 50% of the banked population, the main reasons for banking are safety (67%), receiving salary from employer (39%), convenient way to receive money (23%) and to obtain access to loans (20%). The main barriers to banking according to the study are not having a job (54%), irregular income (45%), and not having money to save (22%). The study shows that between 2009 and 2014, about 128 021 adults fell off the banking system.

Savings and investments mainly for developmental reasons

According to the study, 63% of adults save mainly for developmental reasons (42%) such as education, business, buying land, building a house and farming. Some save to cover living expenses (39%) while others save for funeral expenses (29%) and non-medical emergencies (26%). Of those who save, 32% save in banks, while 32% have formal savings products from a non-bank financial institute which includes retirement products and PosoCards. 37% use informal savings mechanisms such as savings clubs/motshelo while 15% claim to save at home.

Of the 37% of adults who do not save, 55% have no money to save, while 43% have no money left after paying for expenses.

Credit and borrowing

The survey shows that 74% of adults do not borrow while only 26% of adults borrow – of those who borrow, 50% do so mainly for developmental credit, while 17% borrow to buy a vehicle, and for farming (15%) and paying off debts (8%). Of those who borrow, 16% borrow from banks while 2% have formal credit facilities from non-bank financial institutions.

Insurance uptake low

According to the study, 70% of adults do not have insurance – the main barriers to the uptake of insurance are no income, people do not understand how it works and they do not need it. On the other hand, of the 30% of adults who do have insurance, majority (67%) have funeral insurance, 20% belong to a burial society while 28% have medical aid and 15% have life insurance policy.

Remittances increased through banking products

The study showed that there has been in increase in remittances through banking products. 40% of adults claimed to have remitted within 12 months prior to the survey. 26% of the population remitted using formal non-bank products and services such as mobile money, Moneygram, Western Union, etc. 13% sent or received money through banking channels, while 5% sent/received money through family and friends.

Mobile money usage low

Although about 94% of individuals have access to cellphones, only 22% of the population use mobile money. Of the 22% of the population who do use mobile money, 77% claim that it is convenient to use while 36% claim that it is cheap. The study has revealed that there is an increase in formal remittances due to mobile money usage. The study also showed that of the 78% of the population who do not use mobile money, 38% claim that they are not interested in it, while 32% claim that they do not have enough information about it.


The study shows that the financial landscape of Botswana is driven by savings where Batswana save more than they borrow. There has been an increase in savings through formal institutions since 2009. 128 000 adults churned out of banking since 2009 due to job losses, irregular or low personal monthly income. Financially excluded adults decreased by 7% from 31% in 2009 to 24% in 2014. According to the study, consumers use a combination of formal and informal mechanisms to meet their financial needs indicating that their needs are not fully met by the formal sector alone.