Only one-fourth of all Filipinos own bank accounts that facilitate their participation in the financial system, while the rest cite the lack of funds or lack of need as their primary reasons for not having one, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) said on Wednesday.
In a statement, the central bank said the results of its latest Financial Inclusion Survey revealed that an estimated 15.8 million Filipino adults have funds deposited with banks and other financial institutions at the end of 2017.
Representing 22.6 percent of the country’s total population, this marks only s slight improvement over the 22 percent of Filipinos who had bank accounts in the survey’s first edition in 2015.
“Ownership of an account that can be used to save money, receive salary, send or receive remittance, and pay bills is a basic indicator of financial inclusion,” the BSP said.
Banks continue to have a higher share (11.5 percent) in account penetration than non-banks such as microfinance non-government organizations (8.1 percent), cooperatives (2.9 percent), and non-stock savings and loan associations (0.3 percent).
Only 1.3 percent of adults have an electronic money (e-money) account.
For the 52.8 million adults who do not have accounts, 60 percent reported not having enough money as the main reason, followed by the perceived lack of need (21 percent) and absence of documentary requirements (18 percent).
Other reasons cited are high cost (10 percent), lack of knowledge in account opening (9 percent), unemployment (8 percent) and lack of awareness (8 percent).
The survey also found out that Filipino adults saved more and borrowed less in 2017. The percentage of adults with savings increased to 48 percent from 43 percent in 2015, while incidence of borrowing decreased to 22 percent from 47 percent in 2015. The share of borrowers obtaining credit from informal sources declined significantly to 40 percent in 2017 from 72 percent in 2015.
“Among account owners, only 18 percent are receiving salary, 12 percent are sending or receiving money, and 6 percent are receiving pension through their account,” the central bank said.
Nearly nine out of 10 adults have payment transactions of which 60 percent are paying in cash. Over-the-counter remittance transactions are prevalent among senders and receivers of money as 93 percent used remittance agents in sending money while 83 percent used them for receiving money over the past six months.
Nearly half (46 percent) of account holders who have access to the internet are ambivalent about e-payments due to issues such as hacking, personal security breaches, and unsafe access. /jpv
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