Earlier this year (April 2015) the World Bank published a report ‘Measuring Financial Inclusion around the World’.
The report focuses on trends in account ownership and use since 2011, the year the Global Financial Inclusion database was launched. One of the core findings was a 20% drop in the number of the “unbanked” globally. The report considers the factors contributing to this increase in account ownership, citing growth in developing economies and innovations in technology as key drivers. With regard to the latter, the report focuses on the increasing use of mobile money, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa, as a means of addressing the challenge of financial inclusion. Although the data shows gaps persisting (most notably among women and the poorest households) the authors highlight potential opportunities for promoting inclusion.
Kate Johnson has published an article in the journal E-Finance & Payments Law & Policy that considers the report’s findings in more detail.