The Role of Digital Financial Inclusion in Preparing for Older Age and Retirements

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The Role of Digital Financial Inclusion in Preparing for Older Age and Retirement


As populations age and birth rates decline in many parts of the world, digital solutions have an important role to play in ensuring financial well-being for older adults. Globally, the number of people aged 60 years or over has more than doubled since 1980, and the share of older adults is projected to double again by 2050.

This paper, jointly released by the Better Than Cash Alliance and the World Bank, summarizes and analyzes the financial challenges faced by older adults. It outlines ways that digital technology can alleviate these hardships and shows worldwide variation in the share of adults who save for old age and have pensions. The paper finds that the proportion of adults who have digital technology and use digital financial services dwindles with age, potentially in ways that are detrimental to their financial well-being.

In the G20 Fukuoka policy priorities on aging and financial inclusion, low digital capability was highlighted as a leading cause of financial exclusion among older adults.

This report aims to provide insights, particularly to policymakers, financial and mobile service providers, insurers and business associations interested in developing and distributing financial products to help people of all ages prepare for and manage old age. The paper draws on data from the World Bank’s Global Findex database, the Gallup World Poll and secondary studies, and should be read in conjunction with the G20’s Fukuoka policy priorities.