FINCA Canada’s Role in Social Justice Reform Across Haiti and the DRC
The United Nations commemorates the World Day of Social Justice on February 20, 2022. This year, the focus will be on efforts by the international community to identify solutions that create sustainable development, poverty eradication and promotion of full employment, gender equality and access to social wellbeing for all. FINCA Canada, in partnership with the Government of Canada, has been championing this effort through the Financial Inclusion Project.
Over the past few years, the Financial Inclusion Project has positively impacted many women in Haiti and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), empowering them to step into entrepreneurial leadership roles, establish economic equality within their communities and combat poverty across their nations.
As the project enters its fourth year, FINCA Canada conducted a survey with clients in Haiti and the DRC to capture product perception and customer satisfaction about whether the quality, type and channel of FINCA’s services are fulfilling their needs. As the goal of the project is the increased economic prosperity for low-income individuals (primarily women) in Haiti and in the DRC, the survey’s objective is to track the successful implementation of data-backed, client-centric and gender-equal financial services for FINCA clients.
Customer Satisfaction Projects Enhanced Client Engagement
For decades, financial institutions and their traditional offerings have been infamously known for their generic and typically complicated products and delivery. With the help of the Financial Inclusion Project, and its work to suit gender-centric and low-income needs, female clients are showing heightened engagement with minimized barriers towards financial independence.
FINCA Canada reported impressive improvements across the Customer Satisfaction Index (CSI), which highlights the overall depth of support and progressive impacts their services and products have had amongst its clients. The DRC saw an eight percent improvement in customer satisfaction from 2020 to 2021, showcasing an upward trajectory to satisfying its client base with relevant products. This year, FINCA has been renamed as the main financial institution for most clients. Ninety-three percent of clients surveyed report FINCA is their main service provider, with a larger majority of respondents being female (96 percent) compared to male (91 percent).
The Haitian population also witnessed an enhanced customer satisfaction rate, standing at 86 percent in 2021 compared to 71 percent in 2020. Although the CSI survey was only conducted in four regions (Port au Prince, Croix des Bouquets, Carrefour and Saint Marc) due to delays and barriers from violence, tropical storms and political impacts, each region showed signs of improvement, yet express no significant difference between men and women. In addition, 91 percent of Haitian clients consider FINCA as their primary bank, highlighting a seven percent increase from 2020, 93 percent being female and 85 percent being male.
Recognizing the Successes in Female-Focused Financial Products and Delivery
Following the Awareness, Choice and Voice report in the DRC, data found that the largest priority for women in choosing a financial institution is a large, widespread agent network as agency banks offer proximity, convenience, flexibility and enhanced safety and trust. In contrast, Congolese men prioritize ATMs due to their prestige, confidentiality and lesser tolerance of frequent connectivity or liquidity issues and disruptions. In Haiti, new data present that women prioritize product features, such as loan terms, repayment schedules, loyalty programs and financial education, more in comparison to men. Haitian men prioritize product advertising most within their financial institution in relation to women.
The continued relevancy of FINCA’s product offering to clients in the DRC and Haiti, combined with improving customer satisfaction rates, reveals a promising future for FINCA, our clients and for our vision of alleviating poverty through lasting solutions.
Progressing Social Justice Measures
Although breakthrough improvements continue across Haiti and the DRC, the financial health of both regions remains challenging. For overall clients in the DRC, the local population still shows signs of struggle and requires further assistance with critical issues such as being unable to save for retirement (61 percent), having difficulties in paying bills/obligations on time (38 percent) and struggling to save money regularly (33 percent). The financial health indicators in Haiti are similar: the majority of overall clients in the region feel they are unable to save for retirement (77 percent), do not have assets worth for a month of living expenses (37 percent) and lack enough savings to cover emergencies (23 percent).
As FINCA Canada enters another year of building economic prosperity for all clients, the organization looks forward to continuing to improve the livelihoods of clients and communities in Haiti and the DRC. To reach social justice amongst each community facing inequalities and increased poverty rates, the need for gender-centric and data-backed infrastructure and products to promote financial inclusion is clearly more important than ever.
Click here to learn more about FINCA Canada’s work in social justice reform across the DRC and Haiti as they lay empowering stepping stones for women’s financial independence.