Three-quarters of poor unbanked

VALUE ADDED SERVICES

|
Image: By World Bank
Three-quarters of poor unbanked

Three quarters of the world’s poor do not have a bank account, not only because of poverty, but also because of the cost, travel distance, and amount of paper work involved in opening one, says the World Bank.

Those without access to formal banking often have to rely on money lenders who often charge high fees. The “unbanked” are also less likely to start their own business or insure themselves against unexpected events.

Financial inclusion, or being “banked” can be transformative, as it allows poor people to build a more secure future. The ability to save and borrow allows them to build their assets, start a business, invest in education, establish a credit rating, and eventually own a home.

"Providing financial services to the 2.5 billion people who are ‘unbanked’ could boost economic growth and opportunity for the world's poor,” said World Bank Group President Robert B. Zoellick. “Harnessing the power of financial services can really help people to pay for schooling, save for a home, or start a small business that can provide jobs for others. This new report on the world's 'unbanked' makes the case: the more poor people are banking today, the more they are banking on their future."

Women are particularly disadvantaged when it comes to access to financial services. Only 37% of women in developing countries have an account, whereas 46% of men do. That gap is even bigger among those in poverty: Women living below USD2 a day are 28% less likely than men to have a bank account.

Worldwide, 22% of adults report having saved at a formal financial institution in the past 12 months, according to the World Bank’s Global Financial Inclusion Database, or Global Findex. Findex provides the most comprehensive picture yet of how people around the world save, borrow, make payments and manage risks.

Even among those who do have a formal bank account, only 43% of adults use their account to save. Yet 61% of account holders worldwide use their account to receive payments from an employer, the government or family members living elsewhere.

The data was collected by Gallup, Inc. using the Gallup World Poll Survey. The Bank’s Development Research Group is building the database with a 10-year grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Few adults in developing countries use formal financial products to manage risk. More than 11% of adults in developing countries have an outstanding loan for emergencies or health-care needs, but more than 80% of these adults use only informal sources of credit. Of adults in developing countries working in farming, forestry or fishing, only 6% of them have crop, rainfall or livestock insurance.

Money transfers through mobile phones is a form of increasingly popular nontraditional banking that often doesn’t require users to travel or set up an account at a brick-and-mortar bank. Such mobile banking, which allows account holders to pay bills, make deposits or conduct other transactions via text messaging, has expanded to16% of the market in Sub-Saharan Africa, where traditional banking has been hampered by transportation and other infrastructure problems. Kenya, where 68% of adults report using a mobile phone for money transactions, has seen particularly impressive growth in this market.

“Nearly two-thirds of the unbanked cite poverty as the obstacle to financial access, but about a third also blame the cost of opening and maintaining an account or the banks being too far away, which means long bus rides for many,” said Asli Demirguc-Kunt, the Bank’s director of development policy and chief economist of the Finance and Private Sector Network.

The Bank’s financial inclusion portfolio totals over USD3 billion, with projects in over 60 countries. It supports country action plans for financial inclusion as well as increasing access to financial products and services such as credit, savings, payments, and insurance through low cost delivery mechanisms (ATM kiosks, mobile phones).

 



Share the News

Get Daily Newsletter

comments powered by Disqus

MORE VALUE ADDED SERVICES NEWS

DRC mobile banking faces challenges in remote areas

Isidore Monga is a civil servant whose salary, like millions others in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), is now being paid via mobile banking. Read More

Orange, Bank of Africa to offer new mobile financial services in Africa

In the coming months, Bank of Africa and Orange Money customers will be able to transfer money directly from their Orange Money account to their BOA account and vice versa simply with their mobile. Read More

Over 20m airtime advances through Pasavute

Net1 Mobile Solutions in partnership with Supa Pesa, has serviced more than 20 million airtime advance requests for the advance airtime service Pasavute from Telekom Networks Malawi (TNM).  Read More

Smart wearables market to generate $53bn hardware revenues by 2019

iWatch New findings from Juniper Research revealed that the global retail revenue from smart wearable devices will treble by 2016, before reaching $53.2 billion by 2019, compared to the $4.5 billion expected this year.  Read More

MFarmer SMS redefines market access for Ugandan farmers

Ugandan smallholder farmers are benefitting from an ambitious innovative ICT mobile phone initiative that offers weather reports and up-to-date market information about changes in prices for agricultural commodities, thus granting them lucrative returns from their farming ventures.  Read More

University of Yaounde I adopts MTN Mobile Money

Karl Toriola MTN Cameroon has signed a partnership agreement with the University of Yaounde I for the use of the MTN Mobile Money solution by students for their financial transactions with the university.  Read More

Agents say Glo Xchange will empower Nigerians

Agents of Nigeria’s super mobile money agent network, Glo Xchange have commended Globacom for the platform which is aimed at deepening financial inclusion and promoting Nigeria’s electronic payment system. Read More

Tigo Tanzania launches mobile money savings service

Millicom-owned Tigo Tanzania has launched Tigo Wekeza - “Tigo Invests” - the world’s first mobile money service that allows customers to earn automatic returns on their balance. Read More

MasterCard, Apple to Integrate Apple Pay Cardholders for mobile payment

Apple has unveiled Apple Pay that will enable MasterCard cardholders to use their iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus and Apple Watch for everyday purchases.  Read More

MTN partners with Skrill to enable global digital payments for mobile money

MTN and Skrill have announced a partnership agreement focused on helping MTN subscribers to take part in the global digital revolution by being able to use funds in their mobile wallets to buy from global internet brands integrated into the Skrill network. Read More

PRESS OFFICES

Sage ERP AfricaSAP AfricaSage Pastel AccountingTrust PayVMWareSamsung ElectronicsMitsumi DistributionPhoenix DistributionSage HR AfricaMTN BusinessSchneider ElectricMultichoice

FEATURED STORY

MFarmer SMS redefines market access for Ugandan farmersMFarmer SMS redefines market access for Ugandan farmers

Ugandan smallholder farmers are benefitting from an ambitious innovative ICT mobile phone initiative that offers weather reports and up-to-date market information about changes in prices for agricultural commodities, thus granting them lucrative returns from their farming ventures. 

IN DEPTH

NIG President speaks his mindNIG President speaks his mind

Bayo Banjo, CEO, Disc Communications and President, Nigeria Internet Group (NIG) says the proposed licensing of infrastructure companies by the Nigeria Communications Commission (NCC) will breed corruption and entrench monopolistic practices. Kokumo Goodie reports.

COMPANY NEWS

SAP innovation transforms how Governments conduct business

SAP Africa kicked off its public sector innovation roadshow in Johannesburg, to highlight how the SAP innovation solutions portfolio including, cloud and big data, supports all levels ...