W/Bank Says 1.7bn Adults Lack Access To Financial Services
World Bank report says 1.7 billion adults worldwide are unbanked. About half of unbanked people include women poor households in rural areas or out of the workforce.
Being able to access to a transaction account is a first step towards broader financial inclusion since a transaction account allows people to store money, and send and receive payments.
A transaction account serves as a gateway to other financial services, which is why ensuring that people worldwide can have access to a transaction account is the focus of the World Bank Group’s Universal Financial Access Initiative.
According to the report, financial access facilitates living, and helps families and businesses plan for everything from long-term goals to unexpected emergencies.
The World Bank explained that as accountholders, people are more likely to use other financial services such as credit and insurance, to start and expand businesses, invest in education or health, manage risk, and weather financial shocks, which can improve the overall quality of their lives.
“Great strides have been made toward financial inclusion and 1.2 billion adults worldwide have gotten access to an account since 2011. Today, 69 per cent of adults have an account,” the bank said.
In Nigeria, Central Bank Governor, Godwin Emefiele, said Nigeria will attain 95 per cent financial inclusion by 2024.
Moving from access to account to account usage is the next step for countries where 80 per cent or more of the population have accounts.These countries relied on reforms, private sector innovation, and a push to open low-cost accounts, including mobile and digitally-enabled payments.
The gender gap in account ownership remains stuck at nine percentage points in developing countries, hindering women from being able to effectively control their financial lives.
The bank said that since 2010, more than 55 countries have made commitments to financial inclusion, and more than 60 have either launched or are developing a national strategy. When countries take a strategic approach and develop national financial inclusion strategies which bring together financial regulators, telecommunications, competition and education ministries, our research indicates that when countries institute a national financial inclusion strategy, they increase the pace and impact of reforms.