Globally, 2 billion people are unbanked

Apr 11, 2018


The latest available Global Findex Database from the World Bank published in 2015, reveals that the global number of unbanked and underbanked people is two billion. 

There has been notable progress regarding worldwide financial inclusion, with approximately 700 million more people holding bank accounts between 2011 and 2014. But even though there were 2.5 billion unbanked adults in 2011 and 2 billion in 2014, it still means that at least 38% of the world's population relies exclusively on cash. Continue reading...

Excerpt from World Bank's 2014 Global Findex overview

Account ownership is a first step towards financial inclusion. But what really matters is whether people actually use their account – and the data are promising.  More than 65 percent of account users in developing countries report having used their accounts at least three times a month, to save, or to make or receive electronic payments directly from their account. Yet, 1.3 billion adults with an account in developing countries pay their trash, water, and electric bills in cash, and over half a billion adults with an account in developing countries pay school fees in cash.

Financial inclusion also allows people to manage risks by providing a safe place to save money for emergency and giving them access to credit when needed: 28 percent of adults —1.2 billion adults—in developing countries report they would use their savings in case of an emergency. Yet 56 percent of these adults do not save at a financial institution.

Download full report here


Demirguc-Kunt, Asli, Leora Klapper, Dorothe Singer, and Peter Van Oudheusden. 'Global Findex Database 2014: Measuring Financial Inclusion around the World'. World Bank Policy Research Working Paper 7255. Published April 2015. Last accessed April 11, 2018.

Last Updated: Feb 12, 2020