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.