Since 2011, the Global Findex Database has been the definitive source of data on the ways in which adults around the world use financial services, from payments to savings and borrowing, and manage financial events such as a major expense or a loss of income. Results from the first survey were published in 2011, and have been followed by subsequent survey results from 2014 and in 2017. The 2021 edition, based on nationally representative surveys of about 125,000 adults in 123 economies during the COVID-19 pandemic, contains updated indicators on access to and use of formal and informal financial services, including on the use of cards, mobile phones and the internet to make and receive digital payments—including the adoption of digital merchant and utility payments during the pandemic—and offers insights into the behaviors that enable financial resilience. The data also identify gaps in access to and usage of financial services by women and poor adults.
Financial inclusion is on the rise globally. Highlights of the 2021 edition include:
- Worldwide account ownership has reached 76 percent of the global population—and 71 percent of people in developing countries
- The gender gap in account ownership across developing economies has fallen to 6 percentage points from 9 percentage points, where it hovered for many years.
- Receiving digital payments such as a wage payment, a government transfer, or a domestic remittance, catalyzes the use of other financial services, such as storing, saving, and borrowing money.
- In developing economies, 40 percent of adults who paid utility bills (18 percent of adults ) did so directly from an account. In China, 80 percent of adults made a digital merchant payment, whereas in other developing economies 20 percent of adults did so.