Global fintech and funding innovation ecosystem

Report: More Than Half of the World’s Unbanked Adults Live in Seven Economies

World Bank Group | Jul 5, 2022

unbanked population map - Report:  More Than Half of the World’s Unbanked Adults Live in Seven Economies

The benefits of financial inclusion have spurred efforts to expand account ownership and productive usage. Since 2011, the Global Findex survey has documented growth—at times incremental and at times dramatic—in account ownership across more than 140 economies. The Global Findex 2021 survey was conducted during the COVID-19 pandemic—a crisis that further mobilized financial inclusion efforts across the world. This and other factors have contributed to the following key findings:

  • Worldwide, account ownership has reached 76 percent of adults—and 71 percent of adults in developing economies.
  • Receiving payments into an account is a catalyst for using other financial services, such as relying on an account to save, borrow, and store money for cash management.
  • Mobile money has become an important enabler of financial inclusion in Sub-Saharan Africa—especially for women—as a driver of account ownership and of account usage through mobile payments, saving, and borrowing.

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  • COVID-19 catalyzed growth in the use of digital payments.
  • Despite promising growth in account ownership and use, only about half of adults in developing economies could access extra funds within 30 days if faced with an unexpected expense, and about half of adults were very worried about at least one area of financial stress.
  • Governments, private employers, and financial service providers—including fintechs—could help expand financial access and usage among the unbanked by lowering barriers and improving infrastructure.
  • Financially inexperienced users may not be able to benefit from account ownership if they do not understand how to use financial services in a way that optimizes benefits and avoids consumer protection risks.

Continue to the full article and visual charts --> here

Download the 225 page PDF report on financial inclusion and 2021 Global Findex Database --> here


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