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Financial Inclusion in Zimbabwe: Determinants, Challenges, and Opportunities

Florence Barugahara

International Journal of Financial Research, 2021, vol. 12, issue 3, 261-270

Abstract: Financial inclusion is a highly topical issue for policymakers since inclusive finance is viewed as a channel of social and economic development. Therefore, this paper seeks to ascertain and examine the determinants, challenges, and opportunities for financial inclusion in Zimbabwe. The research is done by examining existing literature and estimating Logit and Probit models. This paper finds that, the major determinants of financial inclusion in Zimbabwe are; gender, age, education, income levels, employment status, the cost of financial services, account opening requirements, and level of trust in the financial system. Challenges to financial inclusion in Zimbabwe include; financial illiteracy, lack of formal identification documents, lack of trust in the financial system, fragile economy, rural poor and gender inequality, and high transaction costs of financial services. However, mobile money services such as Eco-cash, Tel-cash, and One-money have proved an opportunity for inclusive finance in Zimbabwe. Furthermore, the establishment of the women¡¯s Bank of Zimbabwe is one of the strategies to enhance inclusive finance for women in Zimbabwe. The simplified KYC requirements for low-income groups and the financial inclusion strategy commissioned by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe are hoped to promote financial inclusion. This paper recommended that to make finance inclusive, the government should develop policies that target marginalized groups such as the elderly, rural population, low-income earners, females, and the unemployed. The government should also develop a strong consumer protection regulatory framework, promote financial literacy, reduce the transaction cost of financial services and encourage the use of accounts with simplified KYC requirements to ease documentation needs.

Keywords: financial inclusion; Zimbabwe; economic development (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2021
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DOI: 10.5430/ijfr.v12n3p261

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Handle: RePEc:jfr:ijfr11:v:12:y:2021:i:3:p:261-270