Marco A Espinosa-Vega, Ms. Kazuko Shirono, Mr. Hector Carcel Villanova, Miss Esha Chhabra, Ms. Bidisha Das, and Ms. Yingjie Fan
This departmental paper marks the 10th anniversary of the IMF Financial Access Survey (FAS). It offers a retrospective of the FAS database, along with some reflections as to its future directions.
Since its 2009 launch, the FAS has provided granular data on access to and use of financial services. It is a supply-side database with annual global coverage based on data sourced directly from financial service providers—aimed at supporting policymakers to target and evaluate financial inclusion policies. Its data collection has kept pace with financial innovation, such as the rise of mobile money and growing demand for gender-disaggregated data—and the FAS must continue to evolve.
This Technical Assistance report on Georgia highlights the external sector statistics (ESS). The main objectives of the mission were to assess the Geostat’s progress in the area of ESS and provide further recommendations on improving the data collection and compilation for producing the financial account components, including direct investment statistics, in an integrated format. With the mission’s assistance and based on the analysis’ results, a method has been agreed for filling the gaps in coverage of imported cars and for addressing the limitations in valuation of re-exported cars. The mission stressed the need for improving the coverage of transactions related to gambling that have shown a growing trend in recent years, with increasing nonresidents’ activities. With the increasing workload due to the compilation and dissemination of new products or to enhancing the coverage and quality of existing products, and bearing in mind the staff turnover, there is need to consider allocating additional staff to the External Trade and Foreign Investments Statistics Department. In order to support progress, the mission recommended a detailed one-year action plan, with priority recommendations carrying weight to make headway in improving Georgia’s ESS.
Ms. Kazuko Shirono, Esha Chhabra, Ms. Bidisha Das, Ms. Yingjie Fan, and Mr. Hector Carcel Villanova
The rapid uptake of mobile money in recent years has generated new data needs and growing interest in understanding its impact on broad money. This paper reviews mobile money trends using mobile money data from the Financial Access Survey (FAS) and examines the statistical treatment of mobile money under the IMF’s Monetary and Financial Statistics (MFS) framework. MFS guidance is straightforward in most cases, as many jurisdictions have adopted regulations which ensure that mobile money is captured in the banking system and thus in the calculation of broad money. However, in cases where mobile network operators (MNOs) act as niche financial intermediaries outside the banking regulatory perimeter and are allowed to invest their customer funds in sovereign securities and other permitted assets, mobile money liabilities may remain outside the banking system as well as monetary statistics. In that case, information on mobile money liabilities need to be collected directly from MNOs to account for mobile money as part of broad money.