Digital technologies can expand financial inclusion, World Bank report argues
The World Bank has released The Global Findex Database 2017 report, providing data on how individuals around the world save, borrow, make payments, and arrange risks. In its third edition, the report also includes data on the use of financial technology (including the Internet and mobile phones) to conduct financial transactions. The main finding of the report is that financial inclusion – an enabler of the 2030 sustainable development goals – is on the rise at a global level, but that measures are still needed to expand access to financial services, especially in developing countries. To this aim, the report notes that digital technologies can drive sustainable financial inclusion if the necessary infrastructure is in place, and an enabling environment is created in areas such as digitising payments of wages and government benefits, putting in place strong consumer protection rules, and introducing digital technology-based identification cards. According to the World Bank, the data in the report is used by UN member states to track progress toward the sustainable development goals.