The World Bank has revealed that there has been a large drop in the number of people around the world who are without banking facilities.
The bank’s research revealed that between 2011 and 2014, 700 million adults became account holders for the first time.
However, that still leaves two billion people who remain unbanked, and without the basic financial services which many of us take for granted. They have no facility for saving or borrowing and their financial security is poor.
The majority of that two billion are in the developing world but the problem is not exclusive to poorer countries. In Britain, the number of adults without a basic bank account is thought to be around a million.
Being unbanked, which often goes hand in hand with having a low or irregular income often leaves people unable to plan financially for the future and open to theft or informal savings schemes which can be heavy on the administration costs.
Too often, financially vulnerable people can be easily pushed into poverty. Governments around the world are placing financial inclusion high on their lists of priorities because evidence shows that improving financial literacy and giving people the ability to save and borrow securely reduces poverty and encourages enterprise, even at the lowest level.
Being unbanked can be a particular problem for both temporary employees and migrant workers who have come to the UK. Many UK citizens also find it hard to get a bank account for reasons such as bankruptcy, bad credit or expatriates.
There can be various different barriers to opening a bank account in the traditional way, including insufficient identification or a poor credit history.
This leaves people open to financial exclusion and what’s been called the ‘poverty premium’ where poorer people pay more for goods and services because they can’t pay for things like fuel bills via direct debit.
Having a Suits Me® card can be a practical alternative to a traditional bank account and it also offers all its members a Mastercard® debit card and special cashback offers in high street stores.
If you are an agency and would like to provide your workers with Suits Me® membership as an employee benefit, then visit www.suitsmecard.com