Peru earned the top spot in the overall ranking of enabling environments for financial inclusion for the tenth year in a row, but for the first time shares its number one position with another country, Colombia, the Multilateral Investment Fund (MIF) revealed.
Two other countries in the Latin American and Caribbean region also rank in the top ten overall scores: Chile (6th) and Mexico (10th). As in last year's report, Latin America and the Caribbean tied with East and South Asia for the highest overall regional score.
"We congratulate Peru on its continued success and welcome Colombia to the top of the list," said MIF Senior Specialist Sergio Navajas.
"What’s most important is to see that overall Latin America and the Caribbean remains a world leader in financial inclusion. It’s especially encouraging to see how many countries in our region and beyond are taking steps to take full advantage of the new opportunities offered by digitalization, which has the potential to transform the world of financial services for underserved populations," he added.
The 2016 Global Microscope on Financial Inclusion shows that essential policies for bringing financial services to low-income groups are now widespread in the developing world.
Nine of the 12 financial inclusion indicators covered in the benchmarking index improved globally in 2016, building on gains made during the last decade.
The Global Microscope is produced by The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), with policy guidance and financial support from leading organizations in the field, including its founding sponsor, the Multilateral Investment Fund (MIF), a member of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) Group.
Now in its 10th year, the Microscope is the global standard for financial inclusion policy in developing economies. It was released during the MIF’s 2016 Foromic conference.
The Multilateral Investment Fund is an innovation lab for the Inter-American Development Bank Group.
It conducts high-risk experiments to test new models for engaging and inspiring the private sector to solve economic development problems in Latin America and the Caribbean. The MIF addresses poverty and vulnerability by focusing on emerging businesses and smallholder farmers with the capacity to grow and create economic opportunities.