Financial inclusion dynamics in Southeast Asia: An empirical investigation on three countries

Miguel A. Esquivias, Narayan Sethi, Muhammad Daffa Ramandha, Ari Dwi Jayanti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


This paper examines the determinants of financial inclusion in Vietnam, Indonesia, and the Philippines (VIP). We employ a probit model to the World Bank's Global Findex Dataset of 2017. The analysis compares individuals' access to formal and informal financial services, savings, and credit tools, considering individual socioeconomic characteristics. The study finds significant gaps in financial access between individuals based on gender, age, income, education, location, and job status. Indonesia made more considerable improvements in financial inclusion than the Philippines and Vietnam. Access to savings and credit in the VIP remain low, mainly favoring adults, higher earners, formally employed, and the more educated ones. Females in the VIP have a higher likelihood to be financially included than males, they are more likely to hold savings accounts, to participate in informal finance, while they perceived fewer barriers to formal banking. Formal and informal services coexist in the VIP, while formal financial services often exclude the less privileged. Lack of money, high cost of finance, and perception of financial services as unnecessary are the largest obstacles to inclusion in the VIP, being more burdensome for low-income and less-educated people. Mobile banking services have developed yet leave the less-fortunate people unserved. Age plays a vital role in savings and credit behavior, with the VIP missing to ensure access for young people to services.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)203-215
Number of pages13
JournalBusiness Strategy and Development
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2021


  • Indonesia
  • Vietnam
  • financial inclusion
  • financial institutions
  • gender
  • rural
  • the Philippines


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