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South Africa is top for affordable financial services

first_img26 August 2015South Africa ranks second for its excellent access to and usage of affordable financial services, according to a report released yesterday.The 2015 Brookings Financial and Digital Inclusion Project (FDIP) Report and Scorecard, which evaluated 21 countries, examined broad dimensions relevant to financial inclusion such as country commitment, mobile capacity, regulatory environment and adoption of traditional and digital financial services.As of 2014, about 75% of South African adults had bank accounts and 5% used non-bank financial products. ATM and debit cards were more common, with 34% of the banked population owning a South African Social Security MasterCard.“Unlike in many other countries in our study, women in South Africa are generally not disproportionately excluded from formal financial services,” the report said. “The 2014 Global Findex found that about 69% of men and 69% of women had accounts with a formal financial institution or mobile money provider.”South Africa earned 80% and was ranked number 12 for country commitment, number one for mobile capacity, number 17 for regulatory environment and number three for adoption. It also received the highest score for formal account penetration, including among rural, low-income and female groups.Strong mobile capacitySouth Africa’s mobile capacity was strong, the report showed, with the percentage of unique subscribers comprising about 70% of the population and about 96% 3G mobile network coverage by population.“South Africa also has a number of mobile money deployments offering P2P domestic transfers, bill payment, and international remittances,” it said. “This has allowed it to reach more people and engage them in financial services.”Initiatives to digitise government transfers, along with the country’s quite extensive banking infrastructure, supported financial inclusion. “Efforts to diversify the digital financial services market and encourage digital transactions could propel further advancements in financial inclusion.”According to estimates from a recent Imperial College and Citi report, “a 10% increase in the digital money readiness and commensurate increase in adoption for the countries included in the index, can help up to an estimated 220 million individuals enter the formal financial sector. This translates to an additional $1- trillion (R13.15-trillion) moving from the informal economy to the formal economy”.Financial inclusionThe report said financial inclusion had become a crucial aspect of economic development.“Developing economies need consumers who can pay bills or send remittances in an affordable and convenient manner. Digital services are an increasingly important component of the nexus between development and financial inclusion.“Having greater access to financial services promotes entrepreneurship, lifts people out of poverty, and gives them greater hope for a brighter economic future. This is especially the case in regard to women and marginalised groups.”Source: News24Wirelast_img read more

Azarenka withdraws from US Open amid child custody dispute

first_imgFILE – In this Sept. 3, 2015, file photo, Victoria Azarenka, of Belarus, returns a shot to Yanina Wickmayer, of Belgium, during the second round of the U.S. Open tennis tournament, in New York. Two-time Australian Open champion Victoria Azarenka says her participation in the U.S. Open is in doubt because she might not be able to bring her baby son with her to New York as a result of her separation from the child’s father. Azarenka says via a posting on Twitter on Thursday, Aug. 17, 2017, that she is “faced with a difficult situation which may not allow me to return to work right away.” (AP Photo/Charles Krupa, File)NEW YORK — Two-time Australian Open champion Victoria Azarenka withdrew from the U.S. Open on Monday because she was unable to resolve a custody dispute with her infant son’s father.The 28-year-old star from Belarus gave birth to her first child in December and she returned to the tour in June. She detailed the dispute with the boy’s father in a long Twitter post last week, saying she might not be able to bring her son with her to New York.ADVERTISEMENT “I am sadly unable to compete in this year’s U.S. Open due to my ongoing family situation that I am working through,” Azarenka said in a statement.In last week’s post, Azarenka wrote that she separated from Leo’s father shortly after Wimbledon, where she lost to Simona Halep in the fourth round on July 10.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSBoxers Pacquiao, Petecio torchbearers for SEA Games opening“As we work to resolve some of the legal processes, the way things stand now is that the only way I can play in the U.S. Open this year is if I leave Leo behind in California,” Azarenka wrote, “which I’m not willing to do.”Azarenka has not played since Wimbledon, and the former No. 1 player is now ranked 204th. She was the runner-up in New York in 2012 and 2013, losing in the final each year to Serena Williams. Those were also the years that Azarenka won her two Grand Slam singles titles in Australia. Williams, who is pregnant with her first child, also will not play in this year’s U.S. Open. On the men’s side, three top-10 players have withdrawn with season-ending injuries: defending champion Stan Wawrinka, Novak Djokovic and Kei Nishikori.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss PLAY LIST 02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games NATO’s aging eye in the sky to get a last overhaul Robredo should’ve resigned as drug czar after lack of trust issue – Panelo Trump signs bills in support of Hong Kong protesters MOST READ Celebrity chef Gary Rhodes dies at 59 with wife by his side Rugby World Cup winner reveals heart surgery after tick bite Lacson: SEA Games fund put in foundation like ‘Napoles case’ Hotel says PH coach apologized for ‘kikiam for breakfast’ claim LATEST STORIES Ethel Booba on hotel’s clarification that ‘kikiam’ is ‘chicken sausage’: ‘Kung di pa pansinin, baka isipin nila ok lang’ Pagasa: Storm intensifies as it nears PAR View commentslast_img read more