Effective 2 December 2016, Success Microfinance Bank received a license from Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe to start taking in deposits in order to expand its microfinance operations across the country. In Zimbabwe, over a million people have individual small businesses that need money for expansion and require deposit services.
Success Microfinance bank becomes one of the 160 other microfinance institutions who are trying to keep credit flowing in Zimbabwe. Zimbabwe at present faces a credit crunch, while deposits and withdrawals can be as low as $100 every day. Currently, over 69 percent of all Zimbabweans have access to financial services, but the central bank wishes to increase that number to 90 percent by 2020.
To boost the microfinance sector, the government itself is taking steps by opening a new bank called Empower Bank. While citing the example of India’s Integrated Rural Development Programme, the government wishes to increase loans to women and other socially exclusive group who can help elevate standards of living across the rural region of Zimbabwe. In this manner, Zimbabwe wishes to bring down the current interest rates that are charged by microfinance institutions and would allow more private microfinance institutions to compete for better rates and products. Moreover, these initiatives will also lead to more aligned financial products such as those related to insurance and entrepreneurship.