Towards a new index of mobile money inclusion and the role of the regulatory environment

Godsway Tetteh, Micheline Goedhuys, Maty Konte & Pierre Mohnen


It is an undeniable fact that financial inclusion has become a global policy priority. Despite its popularity in the policy sphere, the concept of financial inclusion lacks a comprehensive measure to monitor and evaluate inclusive financial systems across the globe. To fill this gap, we combine macro-level data from the Financial Access Survey of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank’s Global Findex database to construct novel indices of financial inclusion. First, we compute new financial inclusion indices that incorporate access to financial services by groups prone to exclusion. Second, we account for the recent upsurge in mobile money adoption in the developing world by computing a novel mobile money inclusion index. We further relate the financial inclusion indices with legal origin to ascertain the role of initial conditions of the regulatory environment in countries’ financial inclusion achievements. We find that whereas developed countries continue to lead in banking inclusion, developing countries in sub-Saharan Africa are at the frontiers of mobile money inclusion. Also, we find evidence suggesting that the regulatory environment matters for financial inclusion.

Keywords: Financial Inclusion, Banking Inclusion, Financial Innovation, Mobile Money Inclusion

JEL Classification: G21, O16, O35, O57

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