Training vs. informal financial services for the promotion of financial literacy and inclusion in Uganda
Financial education aims to promote financial inclusion by increasing understanding and use of formal financial services. Despite such training, participation in informal financial practices remains high relative to formal ones in countries like Uganda. A cross-sectional sample survey of economically active urban financial service users is used to test whether financial education through formal training is associated with financial literacy (FL) and FL is associated with increased use of financial services, especially formal ones. The findings indicate that formal financial training is significantly associated with FL, and that higher FL is associated with higher use of both formal and informal financial services. The unexpectedly strong association of the use of informal financial services with financial literacy suggests that informal financial services may have a more complementary role than a simple model of financial formalization would imply. The study suggests that promoting informal financial services may be more efficient in raising financial literacy and inclusion than financial training.