Ouagadougou, 18 April 2017. FinMark Trust released the results of the first FinScope Consumer Survey Burkina Faso 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 29 countries including Burkina Faso. The FinScope Consumer Survey Burkina Faso 2016 is a partnership between the Ministry of Economy, Finance and Development through the Permanent Secretariat for the Promotion of Microfinance, UNCDF through its Agri-Finance Programme co-financed by UNCDF, UNDP, FinMark Trust, Cenfri, and the Institute of National Statistics and Demography (INSD).

Below are some of the highlights from the survey, conducted between May 2016 and September 2016, with a nationally representative sample of 5 066 adults aged 15 years and older.


In Burkina Faso, 76% of the adult population reside in rural areas with 78% having primary education or less and 63% with no formal education. The personal monthly income for 61% of adult Burkinabe is 30,000FCFA (≈$50) or less while 72% of all adults earn less than 50,oooFCFA (≈$83.33) per month. The main source of income for 55% of adult Burkinabe is farming. About 21% of adults obtain an income from the informal economy, while 18% are dependents relying on remittances from other household members. Medical costs pose a challenge for 44% of adult Burkinabe with two in five adults going without medical treatment or medicine due to a lack of money. During the period of the survey, at least two out of three adults skipped a meal because of a lack of money to buy food. This may be related to a large population of adults being dependent on farming income which is mostly subsistence and highly unstable.

Financial Inclusion Overview

The results show that the formal financial inclusion rate in Burkina Faso is at 40% while 39% of adults are financially excluded. Financial inclusion is skewed towards males (64%) than females (57%) and higher in urban areas (80%) than rural areas (54%).

Financial Capability

The survey reveals that 61% of the population have control over how their money is spent while 62%  of the population indicated that they needed more information on how to manage money. According to the survey 54% of the population desired education on how to obtain a loan, 51% wanted information on how to invest and 46% wanted to learn about how to save. About 38% of adults expected to pay for a major expense in the next 12 months. In order to pay for these expenses, 41% of the population expect to use savings while 32% relied on selling something to cover such expenses.


The results reveal that 82% of adults are not banked - off those, 45% claimed to not have enough money, while 40% do not have a regular source of income and 29% do not have a job to justify having a bank account.  This may well be related to lower formal employment levels and higher farmer household dependency. Only 18% of the population are banked. Of those who are banked, some of the products that drive banking are savings accounts (58%) and current or cheque accounts at 15%.

Savings and Investments

The results show that 49% of Burkinabe adults were not saving at the time of the survey. Of those who were not saving, 42% have no income/money and 39% claimed to have no money to save at all after living expenses related to lower income levels for the mass population of adults. The 51% of adults who save do so for medical-related expenses (55%) and for developmental reasons (57%) such as education, buying land or farming equipment. Of those who are currently saving, the most popular savings mechanisms used are saving in the form of cattle or livestock (46%), saving in a secret place or at home (30%), and with MFIs (22%).

Credit and Borrowing

The survey indicated that 91% of the adult population do not borrow. Of those who do not borrow, 20% do not have a regular income, 18% fear debt, while 18% claimed that they have no job to back up debt. Of the 9% of the adult population who borrow, 20% mainly do so to cover daily living expenses. Most borrowers (33%) use family and friends, 22% borrow from microfinance institutions (MFIs) as a lending source while 21% 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 MFI credit (31%) than rural adults (16%).

Insurance and Risk Management

The results show that 92% of adult Burkinabe 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 regular income, lack of awareness and knowledge of the benefits of insurance. Only 8% of adult Burkinabe have insurance of which 35% is mainly motor vehicle insurance and 21% being health/medical insurance.


The survey indicated that 27% of adults received money and 18% sent money in the last 12 months, with more males sending money (20%) than females (16%). Remitting through other formal non-bank channels was at 28%, with only 1% having used banks to remit. 64% of the adult population do not remit.

Mobile Money

Mobile money services are used by 30% (2 million) of the population. Of those who use mobile money services, 86% use it to remit while 43% use it to transact (pay utility bills, buy airtime, etc.). Of the 70% of the population who do not use mobile money services, 46% do not have a cellphone, 49% claimed not to have enough information about it while one in three of these adults claimed not to have money to send or receive. 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 Senior Research specialist
Tel: +27 (0) 11 315-9197
Email: obertm@finmark.org.za

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 www.finmark.org.za 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 29 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.