Photo by Ullas Kalappura, 2017 CGAP Photo Contest Photo by Ullas Kalappura, 2017 CGAP Photo Contest


The number of people with access to a financial account is steadily rising. Globally, 69 percent of adults in 2017 had accounts, up from 51 percent in 2011. But there are stark differences among countries—China and India are at 80 percent, while Pakistan and Sierra Leone have only 22 percent of adults banked. And the gender gap in account use is unchanged over the past decade at nine percentage points worldwide. Moreover, one in three people in developing countries had not used their accounts over the past year, according to the 2017 Global Findex.

CGAP's work on customers seeks to better understand the financial lives of poor people, particularly women, youth, and the forcibly displaced, among other vulnerable segments. What we learn will help financial services providers design products and services that better meet the needs of low-income people. We believe that creating value for customers increases account uptake and use, which in turn gives poor people more opportunities to improve their well-being. Providers also benefit because customers who see the value in services offered tend to be more loyal, use more financial products, and generate more revenue for providers.

Latest Research


Financial Services in Humanitarian Crises

This infographic illustrates how access to financial services can help people overcome adversity more quickly and sustainably.

Humanitarian Cash Transfers and Financial Inclusion

Syrian refugees in Lebanon and Jordan receive more than one quarter of their humanitarian assistance in the form of cash and vouchers. Leveraging this aid delivery to connect refugees to the formal financial system requires the host country to have widespread digital financial ecosystem in place and coordination among governments, aid agencies, and financial service providers.

Is Data Privacy Good for Business?

Do poor customers value data privacy? Six experiments in India and Kenya indicated they do and are willing to pay for it. For providers, this suggests that offering products with privacy and protection features can give them a competitive market edge.

Latest Blogs


Financial Consumer Protection: 3 Steps to Better Customer Outcomes

Here are three steps that regulators can take to advance a customer outcomes-based approach to financial consumer protection.

The Wrong Kind of Credit: Why Loans to Gig Workers Must Reflect Income

Volatile gig income and inflexible loan repayment schedules can be a dangerous mix, as this ride-hailing driver in Nairobi learned from experience. His story serves as a cautionary tale to lenders and borrowers in the gig economy.

Financial Services Build Resilience in Face of Crises Like COVID-19

In its efforts to develop a theory of change for how financial inclusion can improve poor people's well-being, CGAP has learned several lessons that shed light on what to prioritize during and after the COVID-19 crisis.