A new case study report from Scale2Save looks at how the Covid-19 pandemic has changed bank customer behaviour in Africa. The study shows that customers have increased their borrowing from friends and family – helping to ensure they have additional resources available.
Savings turned out to be the most important source of emergency funding, however, and play an important role to cover living expenses. Missed loan repayments have fallen in some countries, but that may be because repayments have been rescheduled. Where repayments have been missed, that probably arises from falling incomes.
Digital transactions climb
The volume of digital transactions has increased, especially where regulators have encouraged banks to curtail fees. Almost 70% of banks report more digital transactions by customers. More than three-quarters of banks have had to pay close attention to the wellbeing of staff and customers. Almost half have seen increased withdrawals of deposits and a rise in non-performing loans.
Banks respond through communication, digital services, payment relief
Banks have responded on many fronts: Communicating more often with customers; cutting fees, including for digital services; providing payment relief to customers. Banks see digitisation as the key to thriving amid the ongoing pandemic. The report also looks at how regulators on the continent have responded.
Following two annual publications in 2018and 2019 of the State of the Savings and Retail Banking in Africa research, this is the first in a series of case studies that focus on innovations and partnerships to deliver on financial inclusion in Africa.