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The Global Findex Database 2021: Financial Inclusion, Digital Payments, and Resilience in the Age of COVID-19


3d image of the Global Findex 2021 cover
Financial inclusion is a cornerstone of development, and since 2011, the Global Findex Database has been the definitive source of data on global access to financial services from payments to savings and borrowing. The 2021 edition, based on nationally representative surveys of about 128,000 adults in 123 economies during the COVID-19 pandemic, contains updated indicators on access to and use of formal and informal financial services and digital payments, and offers insights into the behaviors that enable financial resilience. The data also identify gaps in access to and usage of financial services by women and poor adults.

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  • Worldwide account ownership has reached 76 percent of the global population—and 71 percent of people in developing countries.
  • The gender gap in account ownership across developing economies has fallen to 6 percentage points from 9 percentage points, where it hovered for many years. 
  • Receiving digital payments such as a wage payment, a government transfer, or a domestic remittance, catalyzes the use of other financial services, such as storing, saving, and borrowing money.
  • In developing economies, about 40 percent of adults who paid utility bills (18 percent of adults ) did so directly from an account. In China, about 80 percent of adults made a digital merchant payment, whereas in other developing economies 20 percent of adults did so.
  • COVID-19 boosted the adoption of digital financial services: About 40 percent of adults in developing economies excluding China who made a digital merchant payment using a card, phone, or the internet, and more than one-third of adults in developing economies who paid a utility bill directly from an account, did so for the first time after the start of the pandemic.
  • Mobile money has become an important enabler of financial inclusion in Sub-Saharan Africa—especially for women—both as a driver of account ownership and of account usage through mobile payments, saving, and borrowing.
  • About half of adults in developing economies could access extra funds within 30 days if faced with an unexpected expense.


Download the Report   |   Download the Data   |  Executive Summary Visualization


A Screen shot from the Global Findex 2021 data

The interactive data dashboard allows Global Findex data to be visualized, compared across countries, and downloaded.