India fuelling global growth in access to banking: WB

Details :

The news:

  • The World Bank said that the rapid pace of access to banking in India has helped push global numbers, where seven out of every 10 adults have a bank account.

Highlight of the Global Findex Report:


  • In India, bank account ownership has more than doubled to 80% in six years.
  • The Global Findex Report noted that the number of account holders in the country has risen steadily — from 35% of the adults in 2011 to 53% in 2014 and 80% in 2017.
  • Jan DhanYojana scheme:
    • The report said that the part of the explanation of high financial inclusion might be India’s Jan DhanYojana scheme, developed by the government to increase account ownership.
    • Launched in August 2014, the programme had brought an additional 310 million Indians into the formal banking system by March 2018, many of whom might not yet have had an opportunity to use new account.
  • Issues:
    • Despite the Jan Dhan focus, India is estimated to have 190 million unbanked people, next only to China, where 225 million adults have no access to banking.
    • On the flip side, only 7% of the account holders used them for savings and 48% of the accounts remained inactive, the highest in the world.
    • Although more people have access to banking in India now, cash is still the dominant mode of payment.



  • Today around 69 percent of adults have an account, up from 62 percent in 2014 and 51 percent in 2011.
  • In high-income economies 94 percent of adults have an account; in developing economies 63 percent do.
  • Although the number of unbanked has come down, there are still around 1.7 billion such people globally, with seven countries, including India, China, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Mexico and Nigeria, accounting for half of them.
  • Persistent inequality in account ownership: Even as account ownership continues to grow, inequalities persist. While 72 percent of men have an account, 65 percent of women do. That gender gap of 7 percentage points was also present in 2014 and 2011. In developing economies the gender gap remains unchanged at 9 percentage points.



Additional information:

About Global Findex database:

  • In 2011 the World Bank—with funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation—launched the Global Findex database, the world’s most comprehensive data set on how adults save, borrow, make payments, and manage risk.
  • Drawing on survey data collected in collaboration with Gallup, Inc., the Global Findex database covers more than 140 economies around the world. The initial survey round was followed by a second one in 2014 and by a third in 2017.
  • Global Findex data are used to track progress toward the World Bank goal of Universal Financial Access by 2020 and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDG).

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