FinMark Trust released the results of its first FinScope Consumer DRC survey results on 26 March 2015 in Kinshasa. 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. FinScope DRC involved a range of stakeholders engaging in a comprehensive consultation process, thereby enriching the survey. To date, FinScope Consumer Surveys have been conducted in 20 countries including the DRC.
The study was based on a sample of 5000 adults who are 15 years or older and is representative of the overall level of the Central Bank of Congo’s areas of economic activity and therefore all the figures quoted here are indicative of the areas covered.
The study revealed that 70% of the targeted population have access to a water source in the form of piped water, electricity (25%) and latrines/flush toilet (31%). The overall financial inclusion level is 48% with 12% of the population banked, 32% using formal non-bank products and services and 26% using informal services. 1 in 5 adults in surveyed areas are dependent on someone else for money.
About 1 in 3 adults of the population rely on farming and have a median income of less than US$1 per day with limited knowledge and resources. The majority of households involved in farming (82%) sell at least some of their produce. The major farming problems experienced relate to lack of agricultural tools, inputs and the lack of knowledge on the types of crops and vegetables to grow.
The main reasons for financial exclusion are development and infrastructure constraints, limited income and pressing livelihood priorities. Further, main contributors to exclusion relate to lack of awareness of financial products particularly insurance and mobile money. Affordability of financial products and services and limited user base for financial services providers to justify roll-out of point-of-sale infrastructure also contribute to financial exclusion.