The Transparent Pricing Initiative in Zambia has published standardized pricing data from 12 institutions, representing the majority of Zambia’s active microfinance borrowers. Launched in 2011 the Initiative is delivered in partnership with the Association of Microfinance Institutions of Zambia (AMIZ) and is funded by the MasterCard Foundation.Microfinance in Zambia
The Microfinance sector in Zambia is young, small in size and has a limited outreach. Diversion of donor funding towards HIV/AIDs and debt-reduction initiatives during the sector’s early development phase is cited as one of the main factors contributing to the sector’s small growth.
The Bank of Zambia issued the Banking and Financial services (Microfinance) regulation in 2006 which divided the sector according to deposit taking MFIs (Development MFIs) and non-deposit taking MFIs (Credit Companies). Currently, the microfinance sector comprises of mainly salary based credit companies, deposit taking and non-deposit taking microfinance institutions, Banks, NGOs-MFIs, SACCOS, community based financial institutions and other rural support programs.
The MFRs demand a clear procedure for handling customer complaints, helping to protect the consumer from mistreatment. The MFRs also address the regulation of interest rates. The Bank of Zambia prescribes a national interest rate formula to be used in the determination of annual interest rate. The stipulated formula accounts for the impact of compounding, and so resembles the international Effective Interest Rate (EIR) formula. In early 2013 the Bank of Zambia issued new price cap legislation which imposes a limit of 42% on the price of microloans.
The pricing data collected from Zambia covers 12 financial institutions with different regulatory statuses. The Price Graph shows microloan prices in Zambia using the national interest rate formula. This includes the impact of compounding, explaining why some of the prices appear excessively high.
Microloan products targeting small business activities comprise half of the products surveyed. Three quarters of the products in the dataset employed a flat interest methodology rate when quoting their prices, and almost all (90%) of the products analysed included extra fees and charges.
The dataset shows that the highest prices are charged by for profit microfinance institutions. Geographically, the dataset revealed that loan prices were higher in urban areas than in rural regions.
|Institution||# Borrowers||Portfolio (US$)||Products||Transp. Index||Participating Since||Age of Data|
|AB Bank||300||307,000||2||90||2011-Jun||90 mos.|
|Eclof Zambia||200||111,000||4||22||2011-Jun||90 mos.|
|FINCA Zambia||43,700||16,420,000||4||61||2011-Dec||48 mos.|
|Zambia CRC||30||1,000||1||55||2011-Jun||90 mos.|