June 28, 2018

Alternative Data & Financial Access: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

The problem & the opportunity The World Bank estimates that about 1.7 billion adults remain unbanked globally – without an account at a financial institution or through a mobile money provider. Virtually all these unbanked adults live in the developing world. Indeed, nearly half live in just seven developing economies: Bangladesh, China, India, Indonesia, Mexico, Nigeria, and Pakistan. About 56% of all unbanked adults are women. The World Bank also found that poorer people account for a disproportionate share of the unbanked – globally, half of the unbanked adults come from the poorest 40% of households within their economy, the other half from the richest 60%. But the pattern varies among economies. On the bright side, the number of unbanked around the world has been steadily declining. The 2017 Global Findex database shows that 1.2 billion adults have obtained an account since 2011, including 515 million since 2014. Between 2014…

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