Malaysia now 18th most financially inclusive market
03 Oct 2023
Malaysia has improved its standing as a financially inclusive market, rising two spots to 18th place out of 42 global markets in the 2023 Global Financial Inclusion Index by Principal Financial Group (Principal) and the Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR).
According to the World Bank, financial inclusion is defined as ‘individuals and businesses having access to useful and affordable financial products and services that meet their needs – transactions, payments, savings, credit and insurance – delivered in a responsible and sustainable way.’
Consumer data showed a significant positive increase in perceptions of financial inclusion across Southeast Asia, wherein Malaysia jumped into the top half of the rankings for public perception, ranking 15th from 20th place previously.
According to the survey, the country saw improvements across two of the three pillars of financial inclusion, ranking 22nd (from 24th) for government support, 17th for financial system support (from 23rd), while maintaining its fifth place ranking for employer support.
Significant improvements in Malaysia’s digital economy contributed to its improved overall financial inclusion position, with improved rankings for the “volume of real-time transactions” (up 13 places to 14th) and “online connectivity’ (up three places to 24th) indicators.
Principal Malaysia country head and chief executive officer Munirah Khairuddin said the continued focus on digitalisation and other initiatives that eliminate barriers to people’s ability to save and invest will further improve financial inclusion across the country.
“Principal is proud to join in this effort through the embrace of e-wallet solutions, which allows Malaysians to build optimal portfolios to achieve their financial goals.
“We will continue to work across sectors to help broaden awareness and access to the financial tools needed to help reach financial security,” she added.