Results from FinScope Consumer Survey Madagascar 2016

Antananarivo, 11 November 2016. FinMark Trust released the results of the first FinScope Consumer Survey Madagascar today. 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 un-served 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 27 countries including Madagascar. The FinScope Consumer Survey Madagascar 2016 is a partnership between the Ministry of Finance, UNCDF, FinMark Trust, Cenfri, and the Institute of National Statistics (INSTAT).

Further details about the survey can be accessed at

Below are some of the highlights from the 2016 survey, conducted between September 2015 and April 2016, with a nationally representative sample of 5 040 adults aged 18 years and older.


In Madagascar, 73% of the adult population reside in rural areas with 57% having primary education or less and 17% with no formal education. The personal monthly income for 66% of adult Malagasy is 100,000Ar (≈$31) while 95% of all adults are earning less than 400,oooAr (≈$123) per month. The main source of income for 47% of adult Malagasy is farming. About 36% of adults obtain an income from the informal economy, while 10% are dependent on remittances.

Medical costs pose a challenge for 40% of adult Malagasy with two in five adults going without medical treatment or medicine due to a lack of money. At least 30% of the population skipped a meal because of a lack of money to buy food. About two out of three adults reside in households that use firewood as the main source of energy for cooking.

Financial Inclusion Overview

The results show that the formal financial inclusion rate in Madagascar is at 29% while 41% of adults are financially excluded. Financial inclusion is similar amongst females (58%) and males (59%) and higher in urban areas (69%) than rural areas (54%).

Financial Capability

The survey reveals that 78% of the population have difficulty keeping up with financial commitments. Of the 58% of the population who needed more information on how to manage money, 46% desired education on how to budget, 45% wanted information on how to invest and 42% wanted to learn on how to save.

About 23% of adults expected to pay for a major expense in the next 12 months. In order to pay for these expenses, 61% of the population used savings while 15% relied on selling something to cover such expenses. A detailed note on financial literacy in Madagascar is available at


The results reveal that 88% of adults are not banked. Of those who are not banked, 49% claimed to not have enough money, while 39% do not have a regular source of income and 37% do not see a need for it.  This may well be related to lower educational attainments and low financial education levels.

Only 12% of the population are banked. Of those who are banked, some of the products that drive banking are current or cheque accounts at 29%, debit card/ATM and savings book both at 23%.

Savings and Investments

The results show that 59% of Malagasy adults were not saving at the time of the survey. Of those who were not saving, 56% claimed to have no money to save after living expenses and 40% have no income/money to save at all related to lower income levels for the mass population of adults.

The 41% of adults who save do so for medical related expenses (34%) and for developmental reasons (32%) such as education, buying land or farming equipment. Of those who are currently saving, some of the mechanisms used are saving in a secret place or at home (40%), in the form of cattle or livestock (39%), and with banks (12%).

Credit and Borrowing

The survey indicated that 69% of the adult population do not borrow. Of those who do not borrow, 29% fear debt, while 28% claimed that they have never thought about borrowing.

Of the 31% of the adult population who borrow, 40% mainly do so to cover daily living expenses. Most borrowers (73%) use family and friends, 10% borrow from microfinance institutions (MFIs) as a lending source while 5% borrow from the bank. The low figure on MFI credit is largely dependent on the period of data collection which was in the non-agricultural season which forms a significant share of the MFI credit market.

The results show that urban adults access more formal credit (8%) than rural adults (3%).

Insurance and Risk Management

The results show that 92% of adult Malagasy do not have any type of insurance covering risk. Although the majority of adults that were surveyed claimed to face risks, the main barriers to the uptake of insurance are lack of awareness and knowledge of the benefits of insurance.

Only 8% of adult Malagasy have insurance of which 41% is mainly through solidarity system, 27% being motor vehicle insurance and 16% for pension fund.


The survey indicated that 29% of adults received money and 22% sent money in the last 12 months, with more females receiving money (24%) than males (18%). Remitting through other formal non-bank channels was at 17%, with only 2% having used banks to remit. 71% of the adult population do not remit.

Mobile Money

Mobile money services are used by 17% (2 million) of the population. Of those who use mobile money services, 80% use it to remit while 73% use it to transact (pay utility bills, buy airtime, etc.). Of the 83% of the population who do not use mobile money services, 46% do not have a cellphone, 24% claimed not to have money to send or receive, while 24% have not thought about it. Mobile money is the highest driver for remittances and other formal category being the most widely used financial service channel/medium by adults.

Editorial Contact

FinMark Trust
Obert Maposa
Research Specialist
Tel: +27 (0) 11 315-9197

About FinMark Trust

FinMark Trust (FMT) is an independent trust established in 2002 with the objective of making markets work for the poor. Initial core funding was provided by UKaid from the Department for International Development (DFID) through its Southern Africa office. Additional funders have come on board including the UNCDF, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the MasterCard Foundation as well as private and public institutions at country level. FinMark Trust’s purpose is ‘Making financial markets work for the poor, by promoting financial inclusion and regional financial integration’. FinMark Trust does this by conducting research to identify the systemic constraints that prevent financial markets from reaching out to these consumers and by advocating for change on the basis of research findings. Please visit for more information.


FinScope is an evidence based research tool developed by FinMark Trust and aims at filling the information gap in financial markets within most developing countries. Its purpose is to establish credible benchmarks on the use of, and access to, financial services. It is designed to highlight opportunities for innovation in products and delivery. FinScope Consumer Surveys have been completed in 27 countries. This allows for cross-country comparison and sharing of findings which are key in assisting on-going growth and strengthening the development of financial markets.