Despite efforts to ensure financial inclusion in the country, 1.4 million unbanked adults still receive agriculture payments mainly in cash; the 2017 Global Findex Database has shown.
At the launch of this report, Head of Inclusive Markets, CGAP, Stephen Rasmussen said, this development reveals a huge opportunity, since most of these people have mobile telephones.
He opined that, this should be seen as an opportunity and not as a negative development, since it gives indication that the country needs to improve its financial inclusion, especially for the poor who are already connected to a network.
The connection to a mobile telephone network can be the bases for getting other service like financial services.
However, in 2017, agriculture sector payments significantly increased in terms of payments made directly into accounts.
In Ghana, Kenya, and Zambia about 40 percent of recipients, and in Uganda 32 percent — more than 10 percent of all adults in these countries — reported receiving agricultural payments into an account, in most cases a mobile money account.
About 15 percent of adults in developing economies reported having received payments for the sale of agricultural products in the past 12 months.
Most said that they received these payments in cash on average across developing regions, only one in five recipients of agricultural payments reported receiving them into an account.
In Sub- Saharan Africa (SSA), where the share receiving agricultural payments is about twice the average for developing economies, a much higher share of recipients reported receiving such payments into an account in some economies.
Data from the report reflects a continuous evolution of financial inclusion.
Recent progress has been driven by digital payments, government policies, and a new generation of financial services accessed through mobile phones and the internet.
Digitizing payments of wages and government benefits has the potential to increase both the ownership and use of accounts.
The power of financial technology to expand access to and use of accounts is demonstrated most persuasively in SSA where 21 percent of adults now have a mobile money account—nearly twice the share in 2014 and easily the highest of any region in the world.
While mobile money has been centred in East Africa, the 2017 update reveals that it has spread to West Africa and beyond.
By Joshua W. Amlanu