Massive drop in number of unbanked, says new World Bank Findex Report
by Communications Team, April 15, 2015
WASHINGTON, April 15, 2015 —Between 2011 and 2014, 700 million people became account holders at banks, other financial institutions, or mobile money service providers, and the number of “unbanked” individuals dropped 20 percent to 2 billion adults,according to 2014 Global Findex released today.
Between 2011 and 2014, the percentage of adults with an account increased from 51 percent to 62 percent, a trend driven by a 13 percentage point rise in account ownership in developing countries and the role of technology. In particular, mobile money accounts in Sub-Saharan Africa are helping to rapidly expand and scale up access to financial services. Along with these gains, data also show big opportunities for boosting financial inclusion among women and poor people.
The findings come in the latest edition of the Global Findex, the world’s most comprehensive gauge of progress on financial inclusion. Financial inclusion, measured by the Global Findex as having an account that allows adults to store money and make and receive electronic payments, is critical to ending global poverty. Studies show that broader access to, and participation in, the financial system can boost job creation, increase investments in education, and directly help poor people manage risk and absorb financial shocks. The 2014 Findex found there is still more work to be done to expand financial inclusion.
In a related story in USA Today, Ruth Goodwin-Groen, managing director of the Better Than Cash Alliance said: “This is massive. It’s 700 million people in three years, twice the population of the United States. Widespread adoption by governments, businesses and aid groups of digital payments encouraged the growth in bank accounts.” Read 2014 Global Findex Report >
About the Author
Better Than Cash Alliance, New York, USA
Communications Team at Better Than Cash Alliance, based in New York, NY.