In developing nations, two billion people don’t have access to basic financial services such as savings accounts and credit. That’s almost half of the developing world’s adult population. Giving most of these people access to those services using mobile phones and the internet would increase the GDP of emerging economies by $3.7 trillion by 2025, according to a study by the McKinsey Global Institute. That’s a 6% boost.
The report by McKinsey argues that the benefits of digital finance go beyond unlocking another market for the financial industry. Access to these basic services would reduce inequality, poverty and even government corruption. It would also create 95 million new jobs.
Digital finance can provide access to financial services for 1.6 billion people—880 million of them women—in emerging economies for the first time, McKinsey said. This is within reach because the infrastructure already exists. In 2014, 80% of adults in developing nations had mobile subscriptions. By 2020, 90% of these adults will own a mobile phone.
Nigeria needs a clear strategy to improve its digital finance sector to help improve people’s lives.