Billions of adults across the globe lack access to the financial services they need to achieve even modest levels of financial well-being. Many households and small businesses in emerging markets have no or very limited access to formal financial services. Even in developed countries, they only have access to a limited menu of cost-effective products from financial institutions for addressing their financial needs.
Achieving financial inclusion and financial security is not an end in itself, but a means to an end. It is broadly recognised as critical to reducing poverty and achieving inclusive economic growth. It also has positive effects on consumption, employment status and income, and on some aspects of physical and mental health.
This report highlights some of the central frictions that prevent greater financial inclusion and financial well-being, and associated technological innovations that are fostering creative new approaches to mitigating these frictions for individuals and small businesses globally.