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. 

Financial Inclusion

Total Financially Included
Financial Inclusion Breakdown By Accounts
Account Ownership By Year
26% of Bangladeshi borrowers take loans informally through someone in their community.

Non-Bank Financial Institutions (NBFI)

Account Holders
Demographics For Use of NBFI vs. Bank
31% of Bangladeshi adults have sent or received a text message.

Over-the-Counter Use

76% of Bangladeshi men own phones compared to 47% of women.

What percentage of adults are housewives or students?

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

Financial inclusion is lowest among which demographic group?

A. Rural
B. Male
C. Below the poverty line
D. Female
D. Female (31%)

True or false

Gainfully employed adults are about seven times more likely to be male than they are to be female.

True (87% of the gainfully employed are men)

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)

True or false

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

False (28%)