Dear World Bank: focus on these six countries to get the most ‘banked’ for your buck

Financial Inclusion

Dear World Bank: focus on these six countries to get the most ‘banked’ for your buck

World Bank President Jim Yong Kim meets with a crowd in China, where 36 percent of the population does not have a bank account at a formal financial institution. Photo credit: World Bank Photo Collection (flickr).

Perhaps the World Bank’s recent initiative to reach universal financial inclusion by 2020 isn’t that far off.

But the lion’s share of people without access to financial services live in six of the seven most-populated countries in the world, according to a new project,  “Mapping the Invisible Market”, by the Center for Financial Inclusion at Accion.

Here we’ve listed them in order of population, followed by the percentage of unbanked adults:

China (Population 1.36 billion, 36 percent unbanked)
India (Population 1.24 billion, 65 percent unbanked)
Indonesia (Population 238 million, 80 percent unbanked)
Brazil (Population 201 million, 44 percent unbanked)
Pakistan (Population 185 million, 90 percent unbanked)
Nigeria (Population 174 million, 70 percent unbanked)

If policymakers and public-private partnerships focus on these countries, which make up almost half of the world’s population, more people may be reached without scattering resources far and wide.

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