With the release of the World Bank's 2017 Global Findex microdata last week, policymakers and researchers -- for free -- can now dig deeper into how billions of the world's adults use bank accounts, mobile money, digital payments, savings and credit.
In April, the World Bank published its country-level data and released its report on financial inclusion indicators that are based on data from nationally representative surveys that Gallup, with the support of the World Bank team, collected in more than 140 economies in 2017. The release of the microdata opens up the individual survey responses from roughly 150,000 adults in these economies.
Among the findings that policymakers and researchers can use the microdata to investigate -- and discover their own new insights into the world's financial inclusion challenges and opportunities:
- 1.2 billion adults worldwide have opened an account since Gallup and the World Bank started tracking these data in 2011, including 515 million in the past three years.
- Globally, 69% of adults -- or 3.8 billion people -- now have an account at a bank or with a mobile money provider.
- 1.7 billion adults do not have a bank account. But more than 1 billion of these unbanked adults have a mobile phone, which potentially offers convenient access to financial services.
- The gap between men and women in account ownership is just as wide in 2017 as it was when it was first measured.
- Having access to the internet as well as a mobile phone puts a wider range of ﬁnancial services within reach.