GLOBAL – A landmark study into the relationship between financial services and prosperity across high-growth markets around the world has revealed that people’s definition of prosperity is more linked to financial security and peace of mind than to current income and wealth.

The research by PayU, the fintech and e-payments division of Prosus – found that three quarters of people in high-growth markets do not identify wealth and income as a driving factor of prosperity.

According to the study, three quarters of people with a below-average income for their country report feeling prosperous despite them taking home less money.

The study revealed that instead of money, the top drivers for prosperity are being happy with your life, good health for your friends and family, having a good and stable job, and having enough savings for the future.

Only a quarter of people in high-growth markets view wealth as a top factor for prosperity, with this rising to 36% in the Middle East and Africa and dropping down to 9% in South America.

Health, according to the study, was a uniting factor all high-growth regions, ranking as the top factor driving prosperity across Asia, Latin America, Africa and Eastern Europe.

PayU’s Financial Prosperity Barometer: Perceptions of prosperity in high-growth markets found that access to financial services is another key factor that people used to define their level of prosperity.

The study of over 10,000 consumers revealed that six in ten people believe financial services have helped them become more prosperous.

Nine in ten people were able to directly recognise the benefits of financial services, ranging from depositing money and transferring money to saving and growing their money.

According to the study, people find it easier to identify the emotional benefits of financial services than the practical benefits.

For example, 99.5% of people were able to recognise an emotional benefit of saving money, such as peace of mind, compared to 97.9% who could see a practical benefit, such as being able to plan for the future.

Laurent le Moal, CEO of PayU, commented on the findings: “Understanding how access to financial services impacts prosperity takes us to the heart of human behaviour and brings us one step closer to building a world without financial borders where everyone can prosper.

Global fintech leaders and governments thus have a huge responsibility to build the right services that will ensure each individual can access and utilise financial services to improve their own feelings of prosperity.