Summary of The 2015 Brookings Financial and Digital Inclusion Project Report

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The 2015 Brookings Financial and Digital Inclusion Project Report summary


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While most people want access to the convenience of a formal financial system, only 62% of adults around the world have it, according to this recap of financial inclusion from John D. Villasenor, Darrell M. West and Robin J. Lewis of the Brookings Institution. Their multifaceted analysis measures the availability of conventional banking accounts in 21 emerging economies, as well as their degree of digital capacity to enable mobile money services. getAbstract recommends this in-depth study to economists, government officials, bankers and others involved in the development of formal financial systems in emerging countries.

In this summary, you will learn

  • How widespread access to formal financial systems, or financial inclusion, can benefit economic growth;
  • Which developing countries have higher levels of financial inclusion, and which ones are left behind; and
  • What governments should do to help smooth the way to greater access to formal financial systems.

About the Authors

John D. Villasenor, a professor at UCLA, is a nonresident senior fellow at the Center for Technology Innovation at Brookings, where Darrell M. West is founding director and Robin J. Lewis is a research analyst.



A study of 21 diverse emerging market countries reveals which have made strides in broadening financial inclusion – defined as “both access to and usage of appropriate, affordable and accessible financial services” – among their citizens, and which need to do more. The shift of money from informal to...

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