The World Bank is urging governments in developing countries to do more to ensure people can get access to financial services – such as bank accounts – by boosting competition among service providers and protecting the rights of creditors
Currently around 2.5 billion people – half of the world’s adult population – do not have such access, either because services are not available or they are too expensive.
The World Bank believes having access to financial services plays a critical role in reducing extreme poverty and supporting inclusive and sustainable development,
It says technological innovations – like using mobile phones to pay bills or send and receive money – are making it easier to expand financial services to the poor, women, people who live in rural areas and others who are under served.
But it cautions that there are risks with things like microcredit which need to be well regulated.