Greetings to all our readers and a warm welcome to those of you who are joining us for the first time, for this quarterly Consumer Education Bulletin.
To all consumers of financial services and products, I must reveal my appreciation and gratitude to you for reading the Consumer Education Bulletin (CEB), something that is evidenced by the positive comments in your testimonies on page 6 and 7. I am very happy that we at NAMFISA can make a difference.
With consumer education we intend to reach all consumers of financial services and products in all 14 regions of Namibia, and empower them to be better positioned to take responsibility for their own financial well-being. It allows consumers to assume a more important role in knowing their responsibilities regarding service providers; hence our public notices: “Know your Rights.” It is recognized that with more well-informed and financially astute consumers making better financial decisions, competition is promoted among financial service providers. Moreover, this will encourage providers to come up with new products and services that are more responsive to the requirements of consumers. This will positively contribute to Financial Inclusion, being:
• All people who can use them;
• Have access to a full suite of quality financial services;
• Provided at an affordable price;
• In convenient manner; and
• With dignity for the client.
Research has shown (BASELINE SURVEY 2013, FLI) that consumer decisions may not always be made based solely on sound advice and knowledge, but are often made on impulsive intuition. The key challenge lies in determining how behavioural factors, and other factors such as socio-economic and cultural backgrounds, life events and skill levels, influence rational decision-making, hence the inclusion of Compulsive Buying in this edition.
With regard to promoting access to financial services, we have included some basic savings tips for consumers who earn income on a day-to-day basis. I hope this will also continue making a difference.
Enjoy this edition of the Consumer Education Bulletin.
Phillip N. Shiimi