Access to financial services has seen dramatic improvement on a global scale in recent decades. The percentage of “unbanked” Americans has shrunk from 14% in 1989 to under 7% in 2017, a number in line with other high-income economies. Globally, account ownership has increased rapidly in this same time frame, due largely to the advent of digital banking and mobile money accounts offered by mobile network operators. Still, 1.7 billion adults7 lack an account and access to other formal financial services. For those living in extreme poverty, the number of unbanked rises to 80%.
In May 2019, Aspen FSP held a private convening on pursing a national financial inclusion strategy.