Financial Inclusion in East Asia and Pacific
Financial inclusion in East Asia and the Pacific region is well below the world average. According to the latest edition of the Global Findex which provides data for 2021, only 59 percent of adults in the region have an account. This figure excludes China, where account ownership is much higher, at 89 percent. Notably, there is a significant variance within the region, with account ownership ranging from only 33 and 37 percent of the adult population in Cambodia and Laos, respectively, to 96 percent in Thailand.
The COVID-19 pandemic drove the use of digital payments, as 54 percent of those who made a digital payment did so for the first time after the onset of the pandemic. Overall, only 23 percent of adults in the region (excluding China) made digital merchant payments.
Gender gap in financial inclusion
The gender gap in account ownership within the region is one of the lowest globally, at just 3 percentage points. Most countries have a gender gap well below the developing economy average of 6 percentage points, highlighting the progress that has been made in promoting gender equality in financial inclusion across the region. Only Thailand and the Philippines exhibit gaps of 6 and 8 percentage points, respectively. However, the continued existence of a gender gap shows that there is still room for improvement in reducing gender disparities in account ownership in the region.
Financial resilience represents individuals' or households' ability to withstand unexpected financial shocks, such as sudden job loss or unforeseen expenses. Access to formal financial services, alongside other factors such as government policies, social safety nets and cultural norms, can contribute to boosting financial resilience. Unfortunately, in five out of nine countries in the region, fewer than 20 percent of adults can generate emergency funding within 30 days without difficulty, with Indonesia at only 11 percent. These statistics underscore the importance of promoting financial resilience and bolstering financial inclusion efforts in the region.
Key Financial Inclusion Data
Knowledge Resources by Country
Explore the knowledge resources we have available on the following countries in East Asia and Pacific:
|Papua New Guinea
- A Guide to Global Findex 2021: What You Need to Know, Blog, FinDev Gateway 2022
- Global Findex: Digitalization in COVID-19 Boosted Financial Inclusion , Blog, CGAP 2022
- The Global 2021 Findex Database: Financial Inclusion, Digital Payments, and Resilience in the Age of COVID-19, Report, World Bank 2022. Download Overview: English | عربي | Español | Français
- The Little Data Book on Financial Inclusion 2022, Booklet, World Bank 2022.
- Women and Financial Inclusion, Gender Brief, World Bank 2022.
- Country Brief — India, World Bank 2022.
- Database and Visualization Dashboard, World Bank 2022.
- Unveiling the Global Findex Database 2021 in Five Charts, World Bank 2022 (Also available in: العربية | Español | Français).
- Launch of the 2021 Global Findex Microdata, Blog, World Bank 2022.
- Financial Inclusion and Digital Payments, Video, World Bank 2022.
This working paper identifies challenges in access to finance for women-owned small and medium-sized enterprises in Viet Nam and recommends ways to improve it.
This publication explores how digitalization is shaking up the finance industry in ASEAN+3 economies, outlines risks and opportunities, and suggests ways of protecting regional financial stability.