Financial inclusion is improving, but is it impactful?
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Financial inclusion is improving, but is it impactful?

Global Findex Report released by World Bank; usage and savings targets remain elusive.


Is the World Bank's drive towards global financial inclusion working? Yes and no.

April saw the release of the Global Findex Report, the global data for financial inclusion, from the World Bank, Gallup and the Gates Foundation. It is the third report of its kind and is released every three years. 

According to the report, 69% of adults - 3.8 billion people around the world - now have an account at a bank or mobile money provider, up from 62% in 2014 and just 51% in 2011. Since the last report, 515 million adults obtained an account and 1.2 billion have done so since 2011. 

While progress has been made, it is still a long way from the goal that World Bank president Jim Yong Kim set in 2013 of having universal financial access by 2020. 

The data has been heralded as largely positive by the Bank, but those who work in the field say it is far too early to celebrate - especially when the data has some questions about usage: though the number of accounts has increased, some 13.6% of accounts tracked by the report had not been used for withdrawals or deposits for more than 12 months. 

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