The Global Findex Database: New Data on Accounts and Payments

Presenting data analysis on ownership and usage of formal accounts
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This note features Global Financial Inclusion (Global Findex) data on the prevalence and use of formal accounts, barriers to account use, and alternatives to formal accounts. The Global Findex database provides such indicators, measuring how people in 148 economies save, borrow, make payments, and manage risk. These new indicators are constructed with survey data from interviews with more than 150,000 nationally representative and randomly selected adults.The Global Findex data show that 50% of adults worldwide have an account at a formal financial institution. Account penetration differs enormously between high-income and developing economies. Findings include:

  • Household income plays an important part in explaining the variation in account penetration at the individual level;
  • Financial inclusion differs according to individual characteristics such as gender, education level, age, and rural or urban residence;
  • Lack of enough money to use bank accounts, high costs of bank accounts, distance of banks, and inadequate documentation are some of reasons for people to not have a bank account;
  • People without formal accounts often employ sophisticated methods to manage their finances, with many turning to alternatives such as mobile phone banking.

About this Publication

By Demirguc-Kunt, A. & Klapper, L.