World Bank’s Global Findex Shows 2021 ResultsBy Emilio Aristegui | Thu, 06/30/2022 - 14:38
In its Global Findex Database 2021 report, the World Bank highlighted that worldwide bank account ownership reached 76 percent and in developed countries it reached 71 percent. The report evaluates access to financial services across the globe to measure financial inclusion.
The Global Findex Database measures access to financial services such as payments, savings and borrowings. The 2021 edition surveyed over 125,000 adults in 123 economies during the COVID-19 pandemic. The database considers financial inclusion as a cornerstone of development and features updated indicators on access to formal and informal financial services, digital payments and insights into financial resilience.
It indicates that “74 percent of men but only 68 percent of women in developing economies had an account–a gender gap in account ownership of 6 percentage points. On average, men and women report the same barriers to account ownership,” said Dorothy Singer, Economist, World Bank, via the Global Findex Database 2021 report.
The gender gap in account ownership in developing economies fell from 9 percentage points to 6 percentage points after several years without visible changes. Digital payments that include wage payments, government transfers and domestic remittances have proven to catalyze the use of other financial services, such as storing, saving and borrowing money.
Developing economies have shown that 40 percent of adults paying utility bills have done so from a bank account. In China, 80 percent of adults make a digital merchant payment; however, in some developing countries, only 20 percent of adults do so.
“A multi-country mystery shopper study evaluating financial institutions in Ghana, Mexico, and Peru found that when actors posed as potential customers, they were rarely offered the cheapest product or given the correct cost. The reason may be that bank and microfinance institution staff are often paid more when they sign up customers for more expensive products, which gives them an incentive to withhold information or mislead potential customers,” reads the Global Findex.