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.
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.