Bath Papers in International Development and Wellbeing No. 14
Policy emphasis for financial sector development has shifted away from microfinance and towards the development of 'inclusive financial markets'. But for inclusion to take place, policy must address barriers to access. This paper analyses the socio-economic, demographic and geographic factors associated with financial service use across formal, semi-formal and informal financial services in Kenya between 2006 and 2009, including the new and rapidly growing mobile phone-based payments service-M-PESA. We find that, despite an expansion of services, evidence of access barriers is now clearer than it was in 2006. However, there is some evidence that M-PESA is reversing age as a barrier to inclusion, but as yet, it is more of a complement than substitute for formal services.
microfinance financial access financial inclusion Kenya