A Client Needs-Centered Approach to Financial Inclusion Measurement
This report summarizes the findings from a five-country pilot study, testing a financial needs framework for measuring financial inclusion in partnership with members of the Alliance for Financial Inclusion (AFI). This approach starts from the understanding the people use financial services to meet their needs, so understanding what these needs are and whether financial services help to meet those needs, enables a more detailed picture of financial inclusion to emerge from the data.
The pilot study results suggest that the formal sector is not the first port of call for serving financial use cases. Rather, informal financial devices and cash are preferred by customers, even if they already have formal financial services. This puts the substantial progress in financial inclusion in recent years in perspective and is a call to action for policymakers, regulators and market players alike: what can be done to ensure that financial inclusion generates positive outcomes by helping people to meet their underlying financial needs?