Graphics: Spending and saving patterns in Nigeria and other emerging markets
The naira, Nigeria's currency.  Source: HFG via Flickr

The Human Account ran a survey to understand customers in emerging markets better. To do this, they developed a three-dimensional research framework that reveals the contextual, behavioural, and psychological dimensions of their financial lives.

We dived into the survey results to see what insights we could derive. We decided to provide the results of not just Nigeria, but five other countries (two African and three Asian): Kenya, Tanzania, India, Myanmar and Pakistan. This helps put the results in a more interesting context to compare across regions. 


How is money made? 

In Asia, the majority of the respondents work as temporary or casual workers, while the majority of Nigerian respondents run their own business. With an unemployment rate of about 23% in Nigeria, this is not surprising. More than 20% of Nigerian and Kenyan respondents depend on support from family, friends, and their spouse. A good percentage of respondents from the African countries also earn their income from farming.



Basic needs

Let's look at some results on access to food and healthcare. 

Although 75% of Nigerian respondents said, they did not have issues paying for healthcare, further analysis of the Nigerian data shows that about 45% of the respondents aged 65 and above have difficulty paying for medicine. Nigeria has an average life expectancy of 55 years, making it the fifth-worst country with a rank of 178. There are a lot of factors that contribute to this, but access to quality healthcare is an important one.




How do we store money?

The least category in which people stored most of their total net worth was in someone's business. The margin between saving it as cash, business assets and land/livestock was quite slim for Nigerian respondents while Myanmar respondents majorly store as land or livestock.




However, it is interesting to see that more people inherited land than actually buying it. Some states in India restrict the purchase of land to only agriculturists, whereas other states don't. All over the South Asian country, non-residents and people of Indian origin can not purchase agricultural land/plantation property/farmhouses. They can, however, inherit agrarian lands.


Financial institutions

Lastly, we looked at access to financial institutions. 

The situation in African countries shows that people can reach informal savings groups and mobile money agents in less than thirty minutes on the average. The formal financial institutions are almost an hour away for the respondents. Meaning, there is still an opportunity for FinTechs in emerging markets to proffer solutions that increases financial inclusion. This could be by lower barrier to entry, reduced transaction costs and reduced travel time in rural areas especially.

Aniekan Inyang

Aniekan Inyang

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