Financial products and services can play a critical role in creating both social mobility and social protection. By understanding how this works, employers and product providers can do so much more to enhance financial well-being.
In this section, we consider how financial product providers could enhance social mobility and individual well-being by providing appropriate products (we focus on saving and insurance offerings). Here, we argue that:
At a time when customer confidence in financial service products continues to wane, this section provides a rigorous assessment of the critical role these products can play in facilitating social protection and social mobility. In delineating exactly how financial products can achieve these important outcomes, we remain emphatic that this all depends on whether the product correctly meets specific needs, provides adequate value for money that clients can actually identify, and addresses the dual need for consumer education and behavioural change.
Employers can become a catalyst for employee wealth creation and financial stability. All this demands that we understand the key components of a successful product. This analysis provides an important checklist that helps product providers and employers to determine what best suits the varied needs of their clients and employees.
Part 4 addresses two other key discussions. First, we look at how employers can significantly improve their employees’ social protection and social mobility by introducing products and services that provide ‘just-in-time’ training to enhance financial capability, and auto-save and auto-enrol programmes to increase savings. Second, as a continuation of our opening discussion, we explore where disruption and fintech are likely to take financial innovation. Which innovations are likely to serve the interests of South Africans best? How has an area such as fintech fallen short in South Africa, and why? And what is likely to change those outcomes in the future?