Emerging Europe Talks People — financial literacy in Tajikistan and Uzbekistan with Zuhursho Rahmatulloev

The limited financial knowledge of Tajik consumers means that more than 40 per cent of the population spends all their income and accumulates debt.

According to available data, only 11.5 per cent of all Tajik adults hold accounts at financial institutions and only 9.1 per cent of women. The situation looks better in Uzbekistan, where 36 per cent of surveyed adults report owning an account at a formal financial institution, according to the 2020 Financial Capability Survey.

However, Tajikistan has thriving fintech start-ups which are helping the country catch up. Alif, a challenger bank headquartered in the country, has over 600,000 users and a team of 700 professionals. It is now establishing its presence in the UK as part of its 2021 growth strategy, bringing greater financial stability, efficiency and inclusion to the market.

Zuhursho Rahmatulloev, one of the founders of Alif Bank, speaks with Andrew Wrobel about his return to Tajikistan after his studies in the UK, the opportunities Tajikistan and Uzbekistan offer and the bank’s plans to contribute to the social change the two countries are facing.

Photo: Alif Bank

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