The Global Findex Database 2021

The Global Findex Database 2021

News: Recently, the World Bank has released 'The Global Findex Report 2021'. The Global Findex surveys over 125,000 adults in 123 economies during Covid-19 to better understand how people use formal and informal financial services and digital payment.

Key Findings:

Status on account ownership
• The account ownership worldwide increased by 50 % to reach 76 % of the global adult population.
• Recent growth in account ownership has been widespread across dozens of developing economies and most of the newly account opened in India and China.

Access to Formal banking
• Largest share of people without formal banking live in India and China.
• Woman are excluded from formal banking as they lack original forms of identification, do not own mobile phone and lack understanding about forms of technology.

Impact of Pandemic
• The pandemic facilitated towards shift to use of digital payment for paying bills.
• Government, private employers and financial providers helped expand financial access and usage among the unbanked by lowering barriers and improving infrastructure. Financial inclusion has become a cornerstone for both short-term relief and sustainable recovery efforts since the Covid-19 pandemic.
• Adults in developing countries are more likely to worry about finances than adults in high-income countries. Concerns around medical expenses are highest in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia, where 64 % of adults are very worried and the lowest in East Asia and the Pacific, where 38 % of adults are very worried.

Way Forward:
• As to move out of the pandemic and as governments seek to consolidate the momentum and expand access to digital banking services, policies must factor in protections for the most vulnerable, including women, the poor and those with limited educational attainment or financial literacy.
• The gender gap in mobile access must be addressed to ensure equitable progress on financial inclusion.

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