RISKY EXPOSURE

Embu small-scale traders bank their cash under mattresses, new survey shows

Unbanked money is lost either in house tragedies or thefts

In Summary

• There are 1,200 boda boda taxi operators in Embu Town alone and about 7,000 in the county who hardly bank their daily earnings

• The county government and financial institutions yesterday started training local small-scale traders in financial management and other business exposures

Embu Trade Executive Dr Jamleck Muturi Speaking at County Primary School on June 28 2017
Embu traders discouraged from saving money under mattresses, Embu Trade Executive Dr Jamleck Muturi Speaking at County Primary School on June 28 2017
Image: Reuben Githinji

 

Most small-scale business operators in Embu do not bank their money, according to a survey by the county’s Trade and Industrial Development department.

The traders, among them jua kali artisans, bodaboda taxi operators, vegetable and fruit sellers, instead put their day's earnings in all manner of places in houses – even under mattresses.

This exposes them to all manner of risks, Trade and Industrial Development executive Jamleck Muturi said at the weekend during the unveiling of Equity Bank’s new logo and celebrations to mark the lender's 35 years of existence.

Muturi said unbanked money is easily lost in house tragedies or thefts.

He at the same time said that such traders denied themselves chances of obtaining loans from banks as the financiers lend according to how a customer transacts business.

He reminded them that the way one deposits and withdraws money earns him/herself the trust of a bank.

He disclosed that the county government would from yesterday (Monday) collaborate with financial institutions to train local small-scale traders in financial management and other business exposures.  

Muturi, who was accompanied by Embu Equity Bank’s branch manager Teressiah Maigua, said there were 1,200 boda boda taxi operators in Embu Town alone and about 7,000 in the county who earn substantial amounts of money.

This money,  apart from the Sh400 the riders are supposed to hand over to motorbike owners daily, is wasted on pleasurable expenditures, he said.

He urged the traders to develop a savings culture "even if it means saving as little as Sh50 daily through bank agents.

Muturi called on financial institutions to tailor-make their products to suit all levels of clientele, noting that most Embu residents are either farmers, business people, professionals or jua kali artisans.

Maigua said Equity would introduce biometric technology at its ATMs to curb money theft. Cash withdrawals would be available only through fingerprints, she said.

She said Embu residents had not been spared as fraudsters continue to withdraw money from bank customers' accounts through ATMs without being detected. This will be a thing of the past when fingerprint technology is introduced, she added.