MANILA, Philippines – Only about 15.8 million Filipino adults own bank accounts, according to the latest financial inclusion survey conducted by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP).
A much bigger number of adults – 52.8 million – don’t have bank accounts, with 60% of them saying they don’t have enough money for that.
The central bank, which has increased efforts in pursuing financial inclusion, measures this by the number of people who save, receive salaries, pay bills, and send or receive remittance through financial accounts accounts.
The survey defines adults as those 15 years old and above.
The BSP’s 2017 Financial Inclusion Survey showed that the 15.8 million account owners represent 22.6% of the total adult population – a slight increase from the 22% in the first FIS survey in 2015.
Twenty-one percent of non-account holders say they don’t see the need for it, while 18% can’t produce the documents required to open an account; 10% say the cost of opening accounts is high; 9% don’t have knowledge about opening accounts; 8% are jobless; and 8% lack of awareness.
Other findings of the 2017 FIS are:
Only 1.3% have electronic money (e-money) accounts
Filipino adults with savings increased to 48% in 2017 from 43% in 2015.
There have been less incidence of borrowing – 22% in 2017 from 47% in 2015.
Women are twice likely to have financial accounts than men, although slightly more men than women have bank and e-money accounts.
Financial accounts are largely utilized to save money. Only 18% of account owners use their accounts to receive salary; 12% to send or receive money; and 6% to receive pension.
9 out of 10 account holders have payment transactions, and 60% of them pay in cash.
Most remittance transactions are done over the counter; 93% of them send money, while 83% receive them, through agents.