The Brookings Institution’s Financial and Digital Inclusion Project has rated the financial inclusion efforts of countries in the emerging global market. Countries were rated on four dimensions of financial inclusion: regulatory environment, mobile phone usage, adoption of both traditional and digital financial services, and commitment to addressing financial inclusion. 26 countries were included in the study, which evaluated emerging market economies of geographic, economic, and political diversity with large populations living in poverty.
Kenya was rated number one, with an overall dimension score for financial inclusion of 84%. They report a 50% increase in financial inclusion in Kenya over the last ten years. Much of this rating is influenced by the very high adoption of mobile money systems.
Next in Latin America are Colombia and Brazil, with scores of 79% and 78%, and in Africa, South Africa, Uganda, and Rwanda. Other countries included in the top ten are the Philippines, Chile, Mexico, and Nigeria.
Egypt is at the bottom of the 26 countries evaluated, with a rating score of 49%. The adult rate of formal account ownership is 14%, with women at 9%. This degree of formal financial participation is similar to other countries in the Middle East, but much lower than other emerging market countries with the same level of lower-middle income.
Several countries rated very high, 100%, on country commitment and regulatory environment. Lower levels of adoption by the population and mobile capacity brought scores down, but with regulatory and political commitment toward financial inclusion, these countries should show rapid improvement in financial inclusion scores over the next decade.
Recommendations included in the report address financial inclusion for marginalized populations, including migrants, women, youth, and refugees. Lack of data for these vulnerable populations means their financial inclusion has not been adequately studied or addressed, but new data with recommendations will be included in the next annual report.
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