Three-quarters of adults (75%) in Bangladesh live on less than $2.50 a day. For them, saving money is fundamental to building a better and more secure future. The percentage of Bangladeshis with formal financial services accounts almost doubled from 20% to 37% between 2013 and 2017. Financial inclusion among the rural poor grew faster than among the population as a whole – and stood at 34% in 2017 compared to 30% in 2016.

The growth in formal financial services accounts in the last year mainly reflects the increase in the number of adults who are mobile money account holders (18% in 2017 versus 13% in 2016); unregistered over-the-counter (OTC) use did not increase in 2017. However, OTC users (27% of adults) still far outnumber registered users, preventing users from taking advantage of advanced features, such as electronic bill payments. The growing prevalence of phones and phone skills, such as text messaging, means a high proportion of the population has the potential to convert to registered mobile money use. Beyond sending and receiving money, however, engaging adults in more advanced mobile money activities remains a challenge. 

Financial Inclusion

Total Financially Included
Financial Inclusion Breakdown By Accounts
Account Ownership By Year
Registered users of mobile money are primarily male, from urban areas, and live below the $2.50/day poverty line.

Non-Bank Financial Institutions (NBFI)

Account Holders
Demographics For Use of NBFI vs. Bank
41% of adults in Bangladesh have ever sent or received a text message.

Over-the-Counter Use

81% of men own a mobile phone, compared to only 53% of women.

True or false

Fewer than 20% of adults have digital access to a registered financial account.

False (28%)

True or false

Shop or business owner is the most common occupation for gainfully employed Bangladeshis.

False (farm owners or workers make up 33% of employed Bangladeshis)

What percentage of adults are housewives or students?

A. 22%
B. 47%
C. 51%
D. 5%

True or false

Bangladeshis are most likely to have financial accounts through non-bank financial institutions.

False(20% Bangladeshis have bank account vs. 9% have NBFI account)

True or false

Youth (ages 15-24) are more likely than elder adults to be advanced phone users.

True (53% of youth vs. 26% of older adults are advanced phone users)

True or false

The longer someone has used mobile money services, the more likely they are to be a non-registered (OTC) user of mobile money.

False (73% of new users (0-6 months) are OTC users, vs. 58% of those who have used the services for more than a year)