Financial inclusion — expanding access to financial services to those on the margins — is often advocated as a priority for the developing world. And rightly so: It can increase economic security for the people who need it most and promote economic development where those people live.
But financial inclusion isn’t just a developing-world issue. To be sure, the challenge in developing countries dwarfs this challenge at home. Despite significant recent progress, the World Bank’s recently updated Global Findex Database indicates that 46 percent of adults in developing countries are “unbanked” or still do not have an account with a financial institution or mobile money provider.