The Global Findex 2021: Financial Inclusion, Digital Payments, and Resilience in the Age of COVID-19

Financial inclusion is a cornerstone of development, and since 2011, the Global Findex Database has been the definitive source of data on the ways in which adults around the world use financial services, from payments to savings and borrowing, and manage financial events such as a major expense or a loss of income. Results from the first survey were published in 2011 and have been followed by subsequent survey results from 2014 and in 2017. The 2021 edition, based on nationally representative surveys of about 128,000 adults in 123 economies during the COVID-19 pandemic, contains updated indicators on access to and use of formal and informal financial services, including on the use of cards, mobile phones, and the internet to make and receive digital payments—including the adoption of digital merchant and utility payments during the pandemic—and offers insights into the behaviors that enable financial resilience. The data also identify gaps in access to and usage of financial services by women and poor adults.

The survey results reflect a snapshot in time based on questions that respondents answer about their habits and experiences of the previous year. Comparing the current survey with results from the 2011, 2014, and 2017 editions reveal which trends endure, expand, and grow over extended periods of time. The report provides global averages as well as averages for high-income and developing economies. It also highlights findings for select economies to illustrate general patterns and interesting findings. Data for all economies for all figures are available on the Global Findex website.

The Global Findex Database has become a mainstay of global efforts to promote financial inclusion. In addition to being widely cited by policy makers, researchers, and development practitioners, Global Findex data are used to track progress toward the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

The database, the full text of the report, and the underlying economy-level data for all figures—along with the questionnaire, the survey methodology, and other relevant materials— are available here.

All regional and global averages presented in this publication are adult population weighted. Regional averages include only developing economies (low- and middle-income economies as classified by the World Bank). Income group classifications reflect the World Bank income group classifications from 2020.

The reference citation for The Global Findex Database 2021 is as follows:
Demirgüç-Kunt, Asli, Leora Klapper, Dorothe Singer, Saniya Ansar. 2022. The Global Findex Database 2021: Financial Inclusion, Digital Payments, and Resilience in the Age of COVID-19. Washington, DC: World Bank.