The government has made efforts to advance the welfare of its people through various policy mixes, including continuing efforts to achieve financial inclusion. Inclusive finance is part of expanding access and opportunities in economic activities to achieve inclusive economic development. Until now there is no standard definition of financial inclusion, the World Bank (2016) defines it as access to financial products and services that are useful and affordable in meeting the needs of the community and their businesses in this case transactions, payments, savings, credit and insurance that used responsibly and sustainably.
In contrast to the OECD, which defines financial inclusion as referring to the process of promoting affordable, timely, and adequate access to regulated financial products and services and expanding their use by all segments of society through tailored and innovative approaches, including financial awareness and education, with the aim of financial well-being and economic and social inclusion.
Based on these several definitions, financial inclusion focuses on access to finance. Indonesia itself already has a reference in implementing financial inclusion programs, namely Presidential Regulation Number 114 of 2020 concerning the National Strategy for Inclusive Finance. Access to finance is a basic right for all people and has an important role in improving people’s lives, but this needs to be accompanied by a good understanding of the community. Thus, efforts to achieve financial inclusion must also be accompanied by efforts to encourage people who are literate in financial services.
Here are four risks that arise if a person does not have access and is not literate to financial services:
- Don’t have a savings account at a bank (unbanked ) so you don’t have access to basic banking services such as savings. The existence of banking services will certainly make it easier for you to carry out daily financial transactions, such as sending money, making purchases, payments, and others.
- Become a victim of irresponsible people who offer unlicensed investments and are supervised by the OJK such as fraudulent investments, so that instead of profiting, they end up losing
- Trapped in illegal loan lenders, loan sharks, or loan sharks, resulting in high interest and suffocating debt.
- Vulnerable to financial risk because it is not protected by insurance products.
Meanwhile, one of the most basic needs of financial services is to have a savings account at a bank which then develops to add other financial products/services, such as insurance, gold savings, stocks, and pension fund programs. Thus, having a savings account at a bank is essential and a necessity for today’s society to participate in economic activities and also support national development.
The following are some of the programs developed to encourage a culture of saving including:
Saving with SimPel/SimPel iB (SimPel Syariah)
Student Savings or what we usually know as SimPel savings is a savings program specifically for students from PAUD to high school levels.
Let’s Save Shares
“Let’s Save for Stocks” is an invitation to attract public interest to invest in the capital market through regular and periodic stock purchases. Through this movement, it is hoped that they can begin to change people’s habits from a saving society to an investing society.
- Let’s Save Gold
This product allows us as customers to have pure gold by saving a certain amount of money which is converted into grams of gold according to the prevailing price at that time. This is a new breakthrough where investing in gold is not only done by buying gold jewelry but can be stored more safely and securely because it is managed by a financial service institution that organizes gold savings.
Old age savings are special savings to prepare financial benefits for customers when entering retirement and can be owned by joining a pension fund program. While we are young, we must not be careless and lulled by a lifestyle that tends to be consumptive but must be more sensitive in facing the fact that humans are not always productive, so we must prepare through a pension program.
So, now you have to start being aware and financially literate that saving actually brings a lot of goodness and benefits in the future. Let’s start increasing our understanding of existing financial products and services, so you can use them to achieve a more prosperous life. People who are financially literate will benefit and be able to minimize the risks posed by these products/services. The following are things that need to be understood before using financial services:
- Information related to requirements and procedures for submitting financial products/services;
- Information regarding the benefits and risks of financial products, such as loan amount limits, interest rates, fines, and others
- Information related to consumer rights and obligations, such as payment period, explanation of billing procedures, and others.
Don’t forget that before deciding to take advantage of financial products/services, make sure that you are registered and licensed by the OJK. Let’s together realize financial inclusion and financial literacy by starting from ourselves!