Branchless Banking in China

CGAP's report China: A New Paradigm in Branchless Banking? highlights the opportunities for greater financial inclusion through technology, specifically the use of agents and branchless banking. Despite dramatic poverty reduction over the past 20 years, more than 100 million people still live under the poverty line in China, nearly all of them in rural areas. China is also home to a huge population of unbanked people, second only in number to India. The rural poor, migrant workers, and SMEs trying to grow their businesses are some of the most financially excluded in the country, and they also stand to benefit significantly from greater financial inclusion through branchless banking.

This blog series will take a closer look at some of the financial inclusion challenges raised in the report, including challenges facing bank agents, the rural poor, and migrant workers. It also will consider how the Chinese journey to financial inclusion differs from other national experiences.

19 May 2014
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In China, financial services offered through social media have recently begun to take off, with interesting potential to expand financial inclusion.
A father and son go to the market to sell geese.
13 May 2014
The Postal Savings Bank of China has five advantages over the "big 4" commercial banks when it comes to serving the rural population.
Chinese worker
08 May 2014
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Migrant workers remain one of the most financially excluded population segments in China. Without bank accounts, sending money home via remittances can be complicated and expensive.
Mrs. Li Yunzhen is the owner of one shop and a small side business selling flowers.
05 May 2014
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In China, branchless banking initiatives are starting to reach scale, but the story has different foundations from other country success stories, such as Kenya.
24 April 2014
China's pilot of 500,000 banking agents show significant promise for financial inclusion. Allowing these agents to offer a greater variety of services, such as taking deposits and opening new accounts, could lead to faster growth and more usage.