Significant Development of Financial Inclusion in Latin America during 2018

2018 closed on a positive balance for the expansion of financial inclusion in Latin America, according to the IV Financial Inclusion Report 2018 published by the Latin American Federation of Banks (Federación Latinoamericana de Bancos or Felaban).

The gap that existed between groups with limited access to financial services and financial inclusion has been narrowed, thanks to the use of tools such as the internet and mobile devices. Mobile banking has made banking products and services more easily accessible at a lower costs.

The change has also shown itself through other factors, which have increased considerably over the last ten years. Some of which are: a higher number of bank deposits per capita; and greater geographic coverage (an increase in the number of bank branches due to the number of inhabitants, greater number of ATM positions and a large increase in banking correspondents).

However, the Federation of Banks, believes that the expansion is due to education and the proper use of these tools, which prove useful for the purpose of managing personal finances. This can be achieved through the financial education programs that have been introduced over the years in different Latin American countries, and which have developed with the collaboration of various institutions and organizations devoted to the industry. According to Felaban, combating financial exclusion is not the sole task of the private sector, but requires joint and coordinated efforts with the public sector.

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