Kenya is among the top five countries that have made significant progress in digital finance in the 2021 Global Findex, released by the World Bank.
The World Bank’s Global Findex 2021 report shows that 79% of Kenyan adults now have an account either at a bank, other financial institution or with a mobile money provider. The report attributes Kenya’s high financial inclusion rate to the success of mobile money in making financial services easily accessible to the unbanked population.
As of 2021, Kenya’s banked population is above the global average of 76 percent of adults had an account at a bank or regulated institution such as a credit union, microfinance institution, or a mobile money service provider. Account ownership around the world increased by 50 percent in the 10 years spanning 2011 to 2021, from 51 percent of adults to 76 percent of adults.
At the same time, the report shows that when it comes to borrowing patterns, Kenya has the most mature mobile money market with more than 30 percent of adults having borrowed money using their mobile money account.
Kenya’s financial services account ownership is in the same range as Brazil, China, Russia, and Thailand.
Global Outlook – Global Findex report
The world bank notes that COVID-19 pandemic led to an acceleration in the adoption of accounts and digital payments, thereby transforming access to finance.
The Global Findex report is published every three years and surveyed how people in 123 economies use financial services and FinTech.
Over the last 10 years, much of the growth in financial accounts has been concentrated in India and China. Thailand boasts the highest account ownership rate among upper-middle-income economies at 96 percent. And in lower middle-income economies, account ownership ranges from 21 percent in Pakistan to 98 percent in Mongolia.
Globally, more than 1.4 billion adults are still unbanked, meaning, they do not have an account at a financial institution or through a mobile money provider. This number has declined from 2.5 billion in 2011 and 1.7 billion in 2017.