Approximately 50 percent of the global adult population - or 2.5 billion people - are excluded from the formal financial system. Who are the unbanked? The vast majority of these adults are concentrated in the developing world - only a third of South Asians, a quarter of Sub-Saharan Africans, and less than a fifth of Middle-Easterners and North Africans have an account at a formal financial institution (Demirguc-Kunt & Klapper, 2012). Why are these people unbanked? A shortage of money, excessive cost, distance to a bank, and documentation requirements are reported by the unbanked themselves as the main barriers to financial access.
These data and more can be found in the Global Financial Inclusion (Global Findex) database, collected by the Development Research Group at the World Bank with funding from the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation. This database provides the most comprehensive view to date of how adults in 148 economies save, borrow, make payments and manage risk.
To promote greater financial inclusion, G2012 Mexico and Ashoka Changemakers have jointly launched the ."G2012 Mexico Financial Inclusion: Innovative Solutions for Unlocking Access" competition, which aims to source the world’s most innovative solutions that create access to valuable, affordable, secure, and comprehensive financial services. On Thursday September 6th at 11am EST the G2012 will be hosting a live-chat where I will be answering questions about the data (questions can also be left on the conversation board from September 3rd). Join the conversation!
Details are available at: http://pulse.changemakers.com/leaders/2012/08/leora-klapper/