Worldwide, 2 billion people lack access to formal financial services. The financial inclusion agenda is committed to including this population within the formal financial system. In an ideal world, the digital finance community could design and deploy products, services, programs, and policies specifically designed to serve the excluded—to connect the unconnected, bank the unbanked, empower the unempowered, etc.
In practice, however, the digital finance community seldom achieves such narrow tailoring. Instead, systems are understood, adopted, and used across broad populations, usually with differing degrees of success. Several factors, such as age, literacy, gender, geography, and language—often in “intersectional” combinations—shape the nature of the adoption, use, and impact of digital finance.
In this snapshot some of the persistent issues surrounding exclusion are discussed, as well as how we measure exclusion, in digital finance research.