Financial inclusion is increasing around the world
KARACHI: Financial inclusion grew globally in the past year despite the pandemic, giving women more financial security, privacy and power, but women continue to be underserved compared to men across the board. categories of financial markets, from low-income people to people with high net worth, global experts said on Thursday.
The gender gap in account ownership has narrowed for the first time since the launch of the Global Findex database in 2011. The gap fell from 7 to 4 percentage points globally and from 9 to 6 percentage points in low- and middle-income countries, since the most recent survey in 2017.
The women’s market represents a multi-trillion dollar opportunity, experts from the World Bank, Women’s Financial Inclusion Data Partnership (WFID), ConsumerCentrix and Data 2X told reporters during a roundtable discussion on the women’s market opportunity. women as a result of financial inclusion. was held virtually.
The index and six reports produced by WFID show that collecting and using gender data paves the way for understanding women’s financial needs and creating equitable policies, products and services that address them. respond. And what’s even more exciting is that the benefits of doing so are quantifiable.
The annual revenue opportunity of reaching unbanked or underserved women in these countries ranges from approximately $350 million (in Kenya) to $970 million (in Bangladesh) and over $1 billion in Turkey.
Panelists discussed progress in financial inclusion, including increasing access to digital currency, market opportunities, benefits of building financial resilience, and how the public sector and institutions finance could achieve gender equality goals and accelerate women’s economic empowerment.
They also talked about a three-year gender data project in six countries (Bangladesh, Honduras, Kenya, Nigeria, Pakistan and Turkey). These countries were chosen because they are all committed to making progress in women’s financial inclusion and could serve as replication models for other nations.
Speakers welcomed the Central Bank of Pakistan’s initiative to boost financial inclusion. The State Bank of Pakistan has introduced a fully digitized solution to open a bank account through smartphones or computers with only a computerized national ID card and no other documentation requirements.
In terms of mobile banking, Pakistan is currently a very good example as it requires ID to create a bank account. In Pakistan, where they use these digital IDs to transfer all COVID-related social protection payments, the dissemination of digital IDs is currently a very good example, according to the speakers.
Mayra Buvinic, senior researcher at Data2X, said women’s businesses, in particular, have been hit harder by the COVID-19 pandemic than men’s businesses.
“Access to capital is very important. So in recovery, I think it’s extremely important to give equal access to capital to women’s and men’s businesses. And the inflation that is happening around the world is even reinforcing the need for financial services,” Buvinic said.
“We know from a significant number of studies that women, especially poor women, invest meager earnings in the welfare of the family. So in a situation of recession and famine, where poor families are suffering immensely, empowering women economically will immediately result in a greater willingness to be poor for children,” she said.
The Global Index database has been the definitive source of data on global access to financial services, from payments to savings and borrowing, according to Leora Klapper, senior economist with the finance and industry research team. from the World Bank’s Development Research Group. .
The 2021 edition, based on nationally representative surveys of more than 125,000 adults and 123 economies during the pandemic, contains updated indicators on access to and use of formal and informal financial services and payments digital, and offers insight into behaviors that enable financial resilience, Klapper said. .
The expansion of formal financial services has created new economic opportunities, narrowing the gender gap in account ownership and building household resilience to better manage financial shocks, according to the Global Findex 2021 database. ??
Financial inclusion is important and is the cornerstone of development. When people have a financial account, it allows them to take advantage of other financial services like savings, payments, and access to credit.
In developing countries today, 71% of people have an account, up from 42% ten years ago. also now more evenly distributed and sourced from more countries than ever before.?