The Global Microscope on Financial Inclusion from The Economist Intelligence Unit is a benchmarking index that assesses the enabling environment for financial access in 55 countries. The research underscores the evolving landscape of financial inclusion itself. This year’s index was completely revised to take a forward-looking focus on digital financial services, and to address the critical role of financial inclusion envisioned in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The 2018 Global Microscope sets a model for an enabling environment for financial inclusion accross five domains: (i) Government and Policy Support (ii) Stability and Integrity (iii) Products and Outlets (iv) Consumer Protection (v) Infrastructure. The report assesses the regulatory and operational environments in 55 countries and includes discussion of key players (banks, non-bank-financial institutions, e-money issuers and cross-border payment providers). It provides a focus on the role of inclusive insurance, financial agents, financial technology (fintech) firms, and credit information providers.

Key Findings of the report

  • The top performing countries (among other Colombia, Peru Uruguay and The Philippines) demonstrate government and Policy support for financial inclusion, prioritise financial stability and integrity, and Foster inclusion through a variety of products and outlets;
  • E-money is making inroads, becoming more accessible as a variety of providers are able to enter the market: »[…] Recognition of e-money is now common among regulatory authorities and more than half of the countries in the study have a favourable maket entry environment for e-money issuers ».
  • Lack of connectivity infrastructure and digital identification sytems limits the expansion of digital financial inclusion in sub-Saharan Africa and the Middle East and North Africa;
  • With introduction of new risks with the technology, many countries need to update cybersecurity laws and develop their cpacity to enforce data privacy and protections.

To consult and read all the key findings of The Global Microscope 2018 on Financial Inclusion click here

Source: The Economist