East Asia and Pacific

With a population of over 2 billion people, East Asia and the Pacific is the largest region in the world, and includes three major sub-regions with significant heterogeneity - China, the Pacific, and East Asia.

According to Global Findex Report 2017, 71 percent of adults in the region have an account, little changed from 2014, when account ownership was at 69 percent. The only country with a significant increase in account ownership between 2014 and 2017 was Indonesia, where it rose from 36 to 49 percent.

Digital financial transactions, on the other hand, grew significantly over the same time period. The share of adults making or receiving digital payments rose by 19 percentage points, to 58 percent in 2017. Growth in digital transactions was particularly strong in China, where the percentage of account owners who used the internet to pay bills or buy things more than doubled, to 57 percent. However, there is still potential for digital technology to increase account use further in the region, for example by digitizing the payment of utility bills. 62 percent of adults paying utility bills reported doing so in cash.

The gender gap in account ownership in the region is relatively low, at 5.4 percentage points, compared with the global developing country average of 9 percentage points. In several countries, including Cambodia, Indonesia, Myanmar, and Vietnam, men and women are equally likely to have an account.

Sources: Global Findex, World Development Indicators, World Bank Regional Classification, World Bank