The United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) in partnership with the Bank of Sierra Leone is pleased to publish this State of the Digital Financial Services Market report for 2019, presenting the findings from the Annual Provider Survey conducted in early 2020.
For the third consecutive year, this report provides information on the state of the digital financial service (DFS) industry by aggregating industry data. It presents the number of players that offer digital financial services, the number of registered and active customers, as well as the volume and value of transactions conducted monthly and the type of services offered in the market. The report also provides information on the different DFS distribution channels available in Sierra Leone and highlights barriers and challenges that providers face. UNCDF and the Bank of Sierra Leone provide recommendations to address certain challenges, examples of good practices and discuss the direction in which the DFS market is moving.
The 2019 edition of the report differs from previous reports because the survey, carried out in July and August 2020, was fully digital due to the travel and work restrictions imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic. UNCDF and the Bank of Sierra Leone counted on the dedication of all providers and were successfully able to secure full participation in the survey. This is testimony to the motivation and hard work of the industry players and to the added value that this report gives DFS providers in Sierra Leone.
The previous annual provider surveys inspired many industry stakeholders to work even harder to drive financial inclusion in the country and make the DFS market more competitive and responsive to Sierra Leonean customers. We at UNCDF hope to do the same with the 2019 report, giving providers tangible and relevant information that can be used to make informed decisions regarding the growth of the industry.