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“Financial inclusion critical”- Matambo

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“Financial inclusion critical”- Matambo
ADVOCATING FOR INCLUSION: Minister Matambo

49% of adults worldwide have no bank account

About 51% of adults worldwide, over the age of 25, have a bank account at a formal financial institution, meaning the remaining 49% are financially excluded from access to financial services.

This was said by the Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Kenneth Matambo at the official opening of the First National Bank of Botswana (FNBB) Mogoditshane Branch, last week.

Matambo added that access to a Bank account is the first step towards broader financial inclusion since it allows a person to send and receive payments and more importantly, to save money.

The Minister noted that a bank account serves as a gateway to other financial services such as credit and insurance that people can use to expand their businesses, invest in education or health, something which, he added, would ultimately improve their overall quality of life.

“Generally, financial access makes day-to-day living easier, and helps families and businesses establish long-term goals,” he noted before adding that financial inclusion has been identified as an enabler for goal number 7 of the United Nations 17 Sustainable Development Goals.

“It is encouraging to see FNBB responding to this need, with their various products and services,” he added.

Situated in the peri-urban area of Mogoditshane and supposedly the busiest branch in the FNBB network in the country yet, the bank’s 23rd branch will serve a significant number of individuals and small to medium-sized businesses.

Giving his welcome remarks, FNBB Chief Executive Officer, Steven Bogatsu said financial inclusion is an important tool for supporting economic development and the improvement in living standards.

Bogatsu also noted that commercial banks must seek to grow their customer base if they are to remain profitable, something he added, FNBB was going to great lengths to achieve by ensuring it has branches servicing communities across the country.

He continued that in addition to the 23 branches across the country, the bank provides innovations such as the Digital Zone, which enable customers to access online banking and perform transactions at their own convenience, Deposit-Taking Automated Teller Machines (ATM) that allow customers to perform real-time cash deposits.

The ATMs also afford customers the luxury of printing mini statements, check balances, purchase pre-paid airtime and electricity, and perform eWallet services as well as a Sales and Service Zone dedicated for account opening, enquiries and service related queries.

“One of the most effective ways to do this is through expansion of our branch network in order to serve a wider customer base,” he said, adding that the recent investment in infrastructure brings the total number of the bank’s branches to 23.

The CEO also noted that technology such as Cellphone banking, ATMs with Deposits, FNB App and internet banking allows for easy reach to all corners of Botswana.