Throughout the research collaboration, we focus on dealing with some of the most pressing challenges that are present across the continent. These include:

Lack of partnerships

Across the continent, FSPs often operate in silos. This results in more expensive and limited services than clients may need and want

Insufficient client centricity

The emphasis is often on designing financial products from within the organisations and getting these sold – rather than focusing on the need of the client as a point of departure

Regulatory barriers to inclusion

Financial services must be regulated – consumers have a lot to lose when things go wrong. The flip side to regulation however is that it may sometimes stifle innovation, and increase the cost of effective delivery of financial services.

Case studies

The research found that banks view the mass market as profitable and important. The desire to act is there but the key challenge is finding a way to participate in a cost-effective, sustainable manner in a rapidly changing environment. To shed light on how to move forward, WSBI and FinMark Trust have created five short case studies. These are part of WSBI State of the Savings and Retail Banking Sector in Africa research series.

The way forward

The WSBI and FinMark Trust will continue to work together over the coming year to articulate a roadmap on what can be done by different stakeholders to support financial inclusion in Africa. The focus will be tangible, looking at empowering women and youth as two key groups that are underserved, but critical to the future economic development and wellbeing of the continent.

WSBI’s Scale2Save programme is a 6-year partnership with the Mastercard Foundation . To learn more about the programme visit this website or contact us by e-mail at