Recent Release | 24 May 2023

Leveraging Technology to Promote Financial Inclusion

Thought Leadership and Economic Consulting Teams

Oxford Economics

Worldwide, nearly 1.7 billion adults are unbanked—unable or unwilling to use any traditional banking services, such as a basic checking or savings account. A far larger number are underbanked, not able or willing to access any services from traditional financial institutions (FIs) beyond a basic checking or savings account, often due to their lack of collateral or an adequate credit rating.

Digital technologies can help bridge these gaps and make financial services more accessible to those who need or want them. The keys to this potential revolution are everyday tools such as smartphones, already owned by 65% percent of the unbanked. FIs that use the right technologies to reach and service the unbanked and underbanked markets can win—and already have won—dramatic business benefits.

This study by Oxford Economics and Red Hat explores the central role of technology in advancing financial inclusion, based on data compiled from a survey of 500 executives at FIs around the world.

To learn more, click here.

Video Introduction

Executives at financial institutions often underestimate the size and market potential of unbanked and underbanked populations. Those institutions that do invest in effective technologies and other initiatives to reach these markets, however, can win dramatic business benefits. Anubhav Mohanty, Associate Director of Economic Consulting, and Bethan Jewsbury, Senior Research Manager in Thought Leadership, explain the research driving our financial inclusion study.

Regional Fact Sheets

The specific needs of unbanked and underbanked people in different regions of the world differ, as do the capabilities of financial institutions. By zooming in on the survey responses from each of the following regions, we show how different types of financial institutions operating in each area can maximize the business benefits gained from financial inclusion:

The experts behind the research

Our Thought Leadership and Economic Impact teams bring years of collaboration to such projects. Thought Leadership produces original, evidence-based research drawing on quantitative and often-elusive qualitative data. Economic Impact conducts analyses yielding cutting-edge market models and forecasts. Together and independently, they tailor research for clients globally and across sectors to inform their decision making and extend their reach.

Edward Cone

Editorial Director and Technology Practice Lead, Thought Leadership

Bethan Jewsbury

Senior Research Manager, Thought Leadership

Kayla Luparello

Research Associate, Thought Leadership

Anubhav Mohanty

Associate Director, Economic Impact

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