Financial inclusion brings major benefits to individuals and economies. For individuals, it means access to credit for emergencies or needed purchases, a path to savings and an opportunity to expand a business and manage risk. For the larger economy, financial inclusion increases savings, expands and reduces the price of credit for investment and entrepreneurship and helps to allocate more efficiently labor and capital, promoting faster economic growth.
Despite progress in recent years, 1.7 billion people around the world lack a formal account at a bank, a financial institution or with a mobile money provider, according to the World Bank’s 2017 Global Findex. The unbanked rate is even higher for the poor, those in rural areas and women.
Here are some ways governments and financial institutions can increase women’s financial inclusion: