New report finds financial access, not income and wealth, key to prosperity
The report shows that prosperity is less linked to current income and wealth than to financial security and peace of mind, which are benefits of financial services.
A landmark study released today by PayU, a fintech subsidiary of Prosus – a global technology investor owned by Africa’s most valuable company, Naspers – found that access to financial services is key to people’s prosperity. The study, Financial Prosperity Barometer: Perceptions of prosperity in high-growth markets, shows that people’s definition of prosperity is less linked to current income and wealth than to financial security and peace of mind.
Naspers’ PayU said it surveyed over 10,000 consumers in 18 countries, including Nigeria, South Africa, Kenya, Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Romania, Turkey, Israel, Brazil and India. Only a quarter of people in high-growth markets viewed wealth as a driving factor for prosperity. This figure rose to 36 per cent in the Middle East and Africa, and dropped to 9 per cent in South America.
The study, which looks into the relationship between financial services and prosperity across high-growth markets around the world, found that six in ten people said access to financial services has helped improve their prosperity. Nine in ten people were able to directly recognise the benefits of financial services, ranging from depositing money and transferring money to saving and growing their money. In fact, three quarters of people with a below-average income reported feeling prosperous.
The top drivers for prosperity were found to be a state of happiness with one’s life, good health for one’s friends and family, having a good and stable job, and having enough savings for the future. Health ranked as the top factor driving prosperity across Africa, Asia, Latin America, and Eastern Europe. It was the uniting factor for all the high-growth regions.
“Understanding how access to financial services impacts prosperity takes us to the heart of human behaviour and brings us one step closer to building a world without financial borders where everyone can prosper,” said Laurent le Moal, CEO of PayU. “Global fintech leaders and governments have a huge responsibility to build the right services to ensure each individual can access and utilise financial services to improve their own feelings of prosperity.”
According to the study, people find it easier to identify the emotional benefits of financial services than the practical benefits. For example, 99.5 per cent of people were able to recognise an emotional benefit of saving money, such as peace of mind, compared to 97.9 per cent who could see a practical benefit, such as being able to plan for the future.
Although nine in ten people stated they have access to at least one financial service, three quarters of people thought their government should be doing more to improve access. PayU’s CEO said technology is at the very core of ensuring everyone has financial access.
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