Financial Inclusion Hype vs. Reality: Deconstructing the 2017 Findex Results

What does the latest Findex tell us about financial inclusion progress?

The World Bank's Global Findex is the most comprehensive database on how people access and use financial services in 150 countries across the world. This report examines the Findex data from the authors’ perspective, seeking to deconstruct what it says about financial inclusion progress.

The report spotlights key financial inclusion indicators, including account usage, borrowing, saving and resilience, among others, and takes an in-depth look at six countries that help tell the story of financial inclusion progress around the world. In short, it finds that after correcting for account dormancy in developing countries, account growth has slowed, the access-usage gap is widening, credit is flat and savings is declining. A bright spot, however, is the proliferation in the use of digital payments.

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By Elisabeth Rhyne and Sonja E. Kelly