Billions of people, primarily in developing countries, have historically had neither bank accounts nor access to electronic payments. When saving and making payments, they have had to rely on cash. This is rapidly changing. According to the recently-released World Bank Global Findex, in 2014, 62 per cent of the adults worldwide had a formal account with a financial institution or mobile money service – a dramatic increase from 51 per cent in 2011. This upswing in financial inclusion has been facilitated by a growing middle class in many developing countries and easily available technology, in particular the mobile phone. However this growth has taken a different path in different regions.
The use of online banking websites and mobile banking apps has increased a lot in Australia. We have one of the fastest uptakes in the world of that sort of technology. One of the side effects of this is that people are now much more aware than they used to be of how quickly a payment they are expecting is going to hit their account. And that’s led to a lot of discussion and chatter about how quickly payments take place.