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New Financial Inclusion Study Spotlights Europe’s Financially Excluded

MasterCard (NYSE:MA) today launched the Road to Inclusion, a report which shows preconceptions of the financially excluded are wide of the mark, based on a new financial inclusion study that is the largest of its kind.

The findings were unveiled at the 2013 MasterCard Europe Prepaid Conference in Rome today. The study took place across six European countries: the UK, France, Italy, Spain, Poland and Russia, although the results show that attitudes and behaviours do not differ that widely by geography, indicating that the issues of the financially underserved are similar across Europe and beyond.

It was commissioned to help MasterCard and its partners better understand what financial exclusion or underservice means to the millions of people within this group and what has triggered their choices and lifestyles, in order for them to better provide services that engage this marginalised audience and build trust for the future.

For the financially excluded – those that do not have access to formal banking facilities– the average age is 40. They are marginally more likely to be female (55%), and 51% of them are married. The largest group within the financially excluded segment (40%) have not received any form of payment, salary, welfare or otherwise, in the last three months. 35% of them have received wages of some sort in that timeframe. 81% have lived in their country all of their life.

For the financially underserved – those that do not have access to any form of electronic payment – the average age is also 40 and again, 55% of them are female. This group is less likely to be married, at 37%. The largest group within the financially underserved segment (36%) has received social security within the last three months, while a third (33%) has received a salary of some kind. 83% have lived in their country all of their life.

Both groups share the most popular reason for not having a bank account – one quarter of them says they don’t have enough money. Other reasons were that they “don’t want or need” a bank account, they aren’t allowed one; or they don’t like or trust banks.

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