New data from the World Bank has recorded a massive 20% decrease in the numbers of unbanked consumers around the world, with the World Bank estimating that approximately 700 million adults globally joined the electronic payments and banking mainstream between 2011 and 2014. Furthermore over the past three years, the percentage of adults with an account at a formal financial institution increased from 51% to 62%.
Commenting on the new data in the Global Findex database, World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim said,
“Access to financial services can serve as a bridge out of poverty. We have set a hugely ambitious goal – universal financial access by 2020 – and now we have evidence that we’re making major progress. This effort will require many partners – credit card companies, banks, microcredit institutions, the United Nations, foundations, and community leaders. But we can do it, and the payoff will be millions of people lifted out of poverty.”
However with several hundred million if not billion more consumers still outside the electronic payments and banking mainstream there is still plenty of progress to be made in transitioning consumers from unbanked and unbanked but the international community should be commended for the progress thus far.
Overview by Tristan Hugo-Webb, Associate Director, Global Payments Advisory Service at Mercator Advisory Group
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