As part of BANKSETA’s 2018 flagship International Executive Development Programme (IEDP) in Development Finance, to promote financial inclusion through novel global methodologies and approaches to financial services and micro finances, Iemas earned a seat amidst all the action.
The programme consisted of a group of 20 individuals, selected from various financial institutions as they travelled to various parts of the world, including Ghana, Tanzania, and Brazil, to gain an understanding of the opportunities and challenges that other countries face in tackling financial exclusion.
The term financial inclusion refers to much more than merely having a bank account. To be financially included, an individual must have access to products and services that enable them to actively save, borrow, obtain insurance or use payment services in a responsible and sustainable manner.
South Africa, in general, has a high level of financial exclusion in that only a quarter of low-income households actively use their bank accounts and one-third of the population withdraws the total balance from their account once available (e.g. weekly wages). This phenomenon is attributable to various reasons, including expensive banking fees and limited access to everyday banking facilities available to only mention two.
Financial institutions should promote financial inclusion and create opportunities for all South Africans to have access to comprehensive and affordable financial products.
The Iemas co-operative business model is designed to make financial products and services accessible and to operate to the benefit of its members through worksite visits where Iemas comes to the employee at their place of work and in sharing its profits with its members through the annual Iemas rewards payment.
Iemas further believes that financial education plays a pivotal role in cultivating a culture of financial inclusion as it enables members to make sound financial decisions and to ultimately achieve financial wellness. Iemas, therefore, offers free financial wellness workshops at the workplace to employees of contracted employers. Training modules include: how to budget; effective savings tips; escaping the debt spiral, the importance of having a will and a life file and what documentation to include, etc. During the 2018 financial year, 7028 employees from contracted employers benefited from these workshops.
Iemas would like to take the opportunity to congratulate Julanda Vos, Acting Group Manager: Corporate Marketing, who not only represented Iemas in the 2018 International Executive Development Programme but who was also awarded the programme’s Top Student Award.
Adapted from https://www.iemasfinancialservices.co.za/blog/how-the-co-operative-business-models-advances-financial-inclusion-in-sa
Reference: Zinz, A & Weill, L. (2016). The determinants of financial inclusion in Africa. Review of Development Finance, Vol 6(1), 46-57.