To better capture financial inclusion, it is crucial to start with fully analyzing and understanding the existing data. A number of institutions, mainly donor-funded, have invested significant resources in measurement of financial access and usage, globally and in Africa, with a particular focus on the supply side. Financial inclusion data has traditionally been separated into supply and demand-side information. Supply-side data comes from providers of financial services, while demand-side data involves interviews with end-users of products: individuals, households, and firms.3 Central Banks often collect some supply-side data as part of their supervision duties for regulated institutions, and this can be a good source of information at the national level. However, supply-side data provided by central banks or supervisory bodies on the number of accounts and Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) in a country is not detailed enough to provide information about how many people have accounts (due to multiple accounts held by some individuals) and how access varies by region, income level, and other variables. In some countries central bank data may not provide a useful level of granularity about financial access.
Table I.1 presents a non-exhaustive list of surveys focusing on the supply side of financial services, aggregated mainly by multilateral institutions. Most of the data reported in these surveys comes from central banks and other supervisory bodies that collect data from financial institutions
Table I.1: Examples of Available Supply-Side Data on Financial Inclusion