More than seven in 10 adults (76%) 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 34% between 2013 and 2016. Ever-growing access to financial services, including mobile money, means young factory workers are able to put their earnings into savings accounts and women are better able to save money for important future expenses. (“If I suddenly get sick, I can take out money from my bKash account for my treatment anytime.” —FII Bangladesh BRAC research) As financial services access continues to expand to the more than 50 million adults still without accounts, many more Bangladeshi will be able to save money securely, pay for medical expenses and plan for their futures.
Despite Bangladesh leading the FII Asian countries in mobile money use, most mobile money transactions are conducted over-the-counter through unregistered accounts, preventing users from taking advantage of advanced features, such as electronic bill payments. In 2016, only one in 10 adults (13%) had a registered account. Beyond sending and receiving money, engaging adults in more advanced mobile money activities remains a challenge.