Financial inclusion is increasingly recognised as a policy instrument to deliver on policy objectives such as welfare, health outcomes and food security. In fact, it is deemed so important that the recently published in SDGs include equal access to financial services for all people as one of the goals to ending poverty.
According to the Access to Finance Survey 2015, access and usage of financial services has markedly increased in Pakistan since 2008. The recently released survey was commissioned by the State Bank of Pakistan.
Recently we wrote about the transformative effects of financial inclusion at the microeconomic level. We concluded that the use of each financial inclusion instrument leads to varying positive outcomes.
Included in the targets of 7 of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals that were finalized in 2015, financial inclusion is seen as both a key solution to some of the most pressing development problems that our world faces today, and a core development goal in its own right.
Financial inclusion in Pakistan has improved slowly but steadily since 2008 according to most sources. This observation is based upon one topline indicator - percentage of the adult population that is financially included - which is calculated by three different institutions in Pakistan.