How many people around the world have a bank account? This is a question that researchers of the recently released Global FINDEX Report aimed to uncover. According to the research findings as published in The Guardian, 62% of adults have an account at a formal financial institution or a mobile money account. This is up from 51% in 2011. The number of adults struggling to get by without an account fell by 20%, to 2 billion.
Leora Klapper, a lead researcher on the study with the World Bank, also found that the uses for bank accounts varied globally. 40% of accounts in Latin America are used to hold wages and government welfare funds. In agricultural areas of Tanzania, on the other hand, farmers use their accounts to directly receive payments for their agricultural goods.
The report also recognizes the importance of looking at how women use bank accounts. Klapper writes,
“Research shows that giving women their own account increases household spending on food, education, and other necessities – which also means less money squandered by irresponsible family members.”
However, researchers found that only 58% of women have a bank account, compared to 65% of men globally.