Over the past two decades, deposits mobilized by commercial banks have skyrocketed more than 300 times, thanks to the massive expansion strategies that they have adopted. Such growth does not, however, mean a boost in financial inclusion. About three-fourths of the Ethiopian population remains unbanked. To make matters worse, the rise in the cost of living, which has forced the real interest rate to remain in the below zero territory, is already discouraging both the banked and unbanked population from depositing their money in banks, especially in urban areas. As a result, the contribution of saving towards the economy remains low, and is further exacerbated by the inflationary pressure that is eating the disposable incomes of citizens. EBR’s Kiya Ali explores.