A popular saying in financial management circles hypothesizes that the secret to financial security is not to have more money, but having more control over the money we presently have.
Majority of us relate to this claim because most of our interaction as human beings is based on financial dealings.
Financial freedom is partly driven by how we mobilize resources for future utilization. As a result, savings mobilization has become a key plank in any development endeavor as it is believed to be the surest way of increasing income and boosting productivity in attempt to eradicate poverty.
One of the major drivers of investment has been through Saccos. This is because they have been instrumental in providing access to financial services that has continued to stimulate the independence and self-development of households, organized groups with a common bond as well as micro-entrepreneurs.
Sacco societies in Kenya trace their roots to 1964 when they were first registered in Kenya as a thrift licensee with the objective of mobilizing savings from their members. It was not until 1969 that the Government encouraged the registration of Saccos to mobilize savings and give credit to employed people who had a similar goal.
Even though they were intended to offer an alternative to improving the desirable situation in low income households, Saccos have been credited for promotion of their members’ economic interests as well as contributing favorably to human integrated development.
Time as a factor in wealth creation
Savings mobilization is a key component in any development endeavor, as it is believed to be the surest way of increasing income and boosting productivity for any society.
Although savings is becoming a priority in the development agenda, it is clear that under-saving is a widespread problem and that everyone should save more, at least in the form of additional financial assets or investment.
Increased income and wealth creation are some of the critical ways for families and communities to climb out of poverty. Wealth allows for ownership, fosters self-reliance and independence, and it creates jobs. Wealth in turn creates more wealth. Initiatives that encourage individual wealth creation are imperative to closing the gap between the rich and the poor.
There is a strong argument on the fact it is only through putting in place conducive policies to support savings that there will be capital accumulation leading to investments hence economic growth and ultimate development since a high saving economy accumulates assets faster and grows faster.
Delivering Value to Customers
It is a fact that financial access provides important opportunities for people and small enterprises, supports growth as well as help in tackling poverty and inequality. It is interesting to note that Saccos have continuously been investing in initiatives aimed at delivering new and enhanced financial solutions to all citizens, regardless of their socio-economic position
It cannot be gain said that mobile money has had a value proposition in relation to its efficiency gains in moving value across space and offering a relatively secure wallet to store value. This stems from its formal properties leveraging a technology solution from a formal provider within a formally regulated payment space.
Advancements in technology have also come in handy for Saccos which hitherto had been relegated to the periphery in terms of product enhancement. The need for convenience and efficiency has triggered players like Mwalimu National Sacco in invest in a mobile App known as the MwalimuGoMobile to be able to offer financial services by the go and promote financial inclusion.
While increasing people’s access to finance helps combat poverty and boosts growth for the banks, there is need for financial services players to put in place deliberate efforts to bring to the fold the unbanked population to the mainstream banking system.
This can only be achieved when financial intermediaries like Saccos continue being the drivers of financial inclusion in the country.
The writer is the Chief Executive Officer of Mwalimu National Sacco