Measuring financial inclusion: advantages and limitations of existing approaches


Paper dwells upon critical consideration of contemporary scientific discourse on measuring financial inclusion. The features of existing approaches to data collection on the supply and demand of financial products and services are summarized, with generalization of their methods of obtaining, elements, sources, pros and cons. It is stated that according to this principle a key indicator of financial inclusion – Global Findex is formed, and its components are under consideration with a focus on disadvantages. The level of development of economy and Fintech, financial literacy and financial culture of the population are highlighted as the important aspects in financial inclusion assessment. Measurement of financial inclusion is found to be based on the assessment of groups of indicators such as the availability, level of use and compliance of financial services, the assessment of barriers and the relationship of households with business. The main advantages (comparability, structure, evaluation of exclusion factors) and the existing limitations of measuring financial inclusion (subjectivity, neglect of country characteristics, lack of a comprehensive indicator) are generalized. Authors substantiate key evaluation principles and present indicators of financial inclusion in Ukraine. Paper suggests to consider the assessment in two contexts: on the one hand, by financial market segment, and on the other, by four dimensions: accessibility, prevalence, effects and impact. Given the limited information available to measure financial inclusion at the global and local levels, there is a need for continuous research on the supply of financial services, detailing information from a demand position, on the importance of taking into account access barriers to financial services along with various aspects of socio-economic development

  1. Sarma, M. (2008, June). Index of Financial Inclusion. Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations. Working Paper, 215. URL:

  2. Chakravarty, S.R., Pal, R. (2013). Financial inclusion in India: an axiomatic approach. Journal of Policy Modeling. Elsevie, 35(5), 813-837.

  3. Camara, N., Tuesta, D. (2014). Measuring financial inclusion: a multidimensional index. BBVA Research Paper. URL:

  4. Dabla-Norris, M.E., Deng, Y., Ivanova, A., Karpowicz, M.I., Unsal, D.F., VanLeemput, E., Wong, J. (2015, September 28). Financial Inclusion: Zooming in on Latin America. IMF Working Paper, 15/206. URL:

  5. Ambarkhane, D., Singh, A.S., Venkataramani, B. (2016). Measuring Financial Inclusion of Indian States. International Journal of Rural Management, 12 (1), 72-100.

  6. Demyrhiuch-Kunt, A., Bek, T., Khonovan, P. (2011). Financial services for everyone? Strategies and challenges for expanding access. Moscow: Al’pyna Pablysherz [in Russian]

  7. Financial inclusion indicators. (2015. January). IFC Bulletin, 38. URL:

  8. Klapper, L., Singer, D. (2017, July 14). The role of demand-side data – measuring financial inclusion from the perspective of users of financial services. BIS. URL:

  9. How to Measure Financial Inclusion. (2015, February 19). World Bank Brief. URL:

  10. Stein, P., Randhawa, B., Ardic, O.P., Bilandzic, N., Hannig, A., Gidvani, L., Lee, C., Ehrbeck, T. (2011, October). Financial inclusion data: assessing the landscape and country-level target approaches. IFC Working Paper, 94734, 1. URL:

  11. Demirguc-Kunt, A., Klapper, L. (2012, April). Measuring Financial Inclusion: The Global Findex Database. World Bank Policy Research Working Paper, 6025. URL:

  12. The Global Findex database 2017. URL:

  13. Financial literacy, financial inclusion and financial well-being in Ukraine. USAID Financial Sector Transformation Project. (2019, June). URL: [in Ukrainian]

  14. Financial Inclusion for economic growth: outcomes of the international forum “Financial Inclusion Forum. Leaving No One Behind”. (2019, June). URL: [in Ukrainian]