Income and Wealth not the Driver for Prosperity in High-Growth Markets

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Three-quarters of people with a below-average income for their country report feeling prosperous; Six in ten people across high-growth markets say access to financial services has helped improve their prosperity; Three quarters think their government has a responsibility to improve access to financial services.

A landmark study into the relationship between financial services and prosperity across high-growth markets around the world has revealed that people’s definition of prosperity is more linked to financial security and peace of mind than to current income and wealth.

The research by PayU, the fintech, and e-payments division of Prosus, found that three-quarters of people in high-growth markets do not identify wealth and income as a driving factor of prosperity. In fact, three-quarters of people with a below-average income for their country report feeling prosperous. Instead, the top drivers for prosperity are being happy with your life, good health for your friends and family, having a good and stable job, and having enough savings for the future.

Only a quarter of people in high-growth markets view wealth as a top factor for prosperity, with this rising to 36% in the Middle East and Africa and dropping down to 9% in South America. Health united all high-growth regions, however, ranking as the top factor driving prosperity across Asia, Latin America, Africa, and Eastern Europe.

PayU’s Financial Prosperity Barometer: Perceptions of prosperity in high-growth markets found that access to financial services is key to people’s prosperity. The study of over 10,000 consumers revealed that six in ten people believe financial services have helped them become more prosperous. Nine in ten people were able to directly recognize the benefits of financial services, ranging from depositing money and transferring money to saving and growing their money.

According to the study, people find it easier to identify the emotional benefits of financial services than the practical benefits. For example, 99.5% of people were able to recognize an emotional benefit of saving money, such as peace of mind, compared to 97.9% who could see a practical benefit, such as being able to plan for the future.

Despite nine in ten people stating that they have access to at least one financial service, three-quarters of people think that their government should be doing more to improve access. In regions self-reporting the highest access to one or more financial services, namely Asia and Middle East / Africa, people, in fact, showed a higher preference for their government to do more. 

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