Financial Inclusion

Financial inclusion calls for individuals and businesses to have access to and effectively use a range of financial services that are provided at a reasonable price and in a responsible manner. World Bank's Global Findex research shows that more than half of the total global adult population has no access to formal financial services. Despite progress in boosting retail banking, insurance, stock markets, microfinance, and informal financial services, billions of people remain outside the reach of formal financial systems.

Bringing people into the formal financial sector would not only improve their lives, but it would also contribute to the soundness of financial systems themselves. The global financial crisis shed light on the fragility of financial systems and the important links among financial inclusion, stability, integrity, and financial consumer protection.

Increasingly, governments, donors, and the financial service industry are working to promote inclusiveness in financial sectors to ensure services are available to all individuals, including low-income people.

A woman smiles next to her husband. Photo by Vetri MSR, 2013 CGAP Photo Contest.