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New report reveals major progress in financial inclusion

52298970The 2014 Global Findex Database measuring Financial Inclusion around the world reveals significant progress in expanding financial access.

  • Between 2011 and 2014, 700 million adults worldwide became account holders
  • The number of unbanked adults has decreased from 2.5 to 2 billion people around the globe
  • East Asia and Pacific region increased account ownership by 25% and made significant progress expanding account ownership among the poor
  • Latin America and Caribbean made good strides bringing the poor into the financial system, including 40 million adults who receive government payments into accounts.
  • South Asia has added 185 million adults with new accounts since 2011

Based on the study it appears more work is needed to connect women to financial services and drive usage of accounts.

  • Women make up 55% of the world’s unbanked adults – 1.1 billion
  • While 50% of women now have an account, there is still a 9% gender gap
  • Among all adults who have an account:

-1.3 billion still pay for electronic, water or trash collection in cash
-500 million pay school fees in cash
-355 million send/receive remittances in cash or over-the-counter

Tune in Friday, April 17th via live stream to Universal Financial Access 2020 hosted by the World Bank where MasterCard CEO Ajay Banga will join an expert panel to discuss how financial inclusion will be critical to achieving post-2015 sustainable development goals.

For more background on MasterCard’s commitment to financial inclusion check out our digital press kit.