Financiera Confianza has brought financial literacy and the promotion of savings to 7,000 people in rural areas of Apurímac and Cusco. 81% of the customers of their “Ahorro para Todos” program (Saving for everyone) are women who are empowered by formal savings as it reinforces their role in the household as the person responsible for administering the family resources. Financiera Confianza published these data to coincide with “World Savings Day” which is held internationally every 31 October.
Financiera Confianza has highlighted the importance of formal savings in rural areas as an effective tool for improving the quality of life of low-income sectors, as it allows them to reserve their surpluses in a secure way and plan better for the future of their families.
For one year and a half, Financiera Confianza has been developing the only private initiative for the promotion of formal savings in rural areas of Peru through its “Ahorro para Todos” program, which has brought financial literacy to almost 7,000 people in rural areas of Apurímac and Cusco, of whom 1,560 have opened a savings account at the bank, and 81% of whom are women.
Cecilia Marquina, coordinator of the “Ahorro para Todos” program, considers that the process of bringing the financial system closer to the most excluded communities in the rural environment requires a personalized approach, in which the customers’ trust is key. “Approaching people through savings has allowed us to connect with men and women in the rural environment and give them the skills to help them overcome the barrier of fear and mistrust towards the financial system. This way we contribute to reducing their vulnerability while they become familiar with our other financial products and services”, she explains.
The customers of “Ahorro para Todos” value the training provided by Financiera Confianza because it represents their first contact with a bank that uses straightforward language to explain the benefits of formal saving. And they say that it is thanks to this contact that they have overcome their fears and decided to save.
In the 18 months since the program has been underway, the bank has seen evidence of how financial literacy and formal savings empower their customers –and particularly women, as it reinforces their role within the household as the ones responsible for administering the family’s resources in the most effective way.
Of the total number of customers who opened savings accounts thanks to “Ahorro para Todos”, 45% did so to finance their children’s studies, 21% to resolve an emergency or contingency, 18% due to problems of health, 9% to set up a business and 7% to extend their capital, purchase land, or to sow.
Financiera Confianza has over half a million customers, of whom 200,000 are entrepreneurs who request some credit product and 300,000 are savers. 52% of the total are women. The bank is present in all the regions of Peru, and is also the microfinance bank with the broadest reach in the rural areas of the country.