Consumer Pulse Q1 2022

Near record-high inflation creates further impediment to financial freedom

The South African economy recorded a near five-year high annual inflation rate (5.9%) toward the end of 2021; this figure eased to 5.7% in Jan. 2022 but remained close to the top of the South African Reserve bank’s target range of 3%–6%.1 As a result, 80% of consumers said they’re making changes to their purchasing behaviour because of inflation.

Demand for new credit remains low

Although 88% of consumers considered access to credit and lending products important to achieve their financial goals, only 32% believed they currently have sufficient access to them. Despite the lack of adequate access, 67% of consumers indicated they had no plans to apply for new or refinance existing credit. For consumers who considered applying for new or refinancing existing credit, 42% stated they ultimately decided against it; fear of being declined due to income and employment status (31%), and the cost of new credit or refinancing being too high (30%) were the top two cited reasons.

Fraudsters attempts to leverage festive period for digital fraud

Of consumers who were aware of digital fraud attempts targeting them, 41% cited money/gift card scams, and 31% cited third-party seller scams on legitimate online retail websites. When it comes to sharing personal information, 87% of consumers were concerned with doing so; 76% cited fear of having their identity stolen.


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