PETALING JAYA: Malaysia has advanced two places to be the 18th most financially inclusive market out of 42 markets analysed globally, according to the 2023 Global Financial Inclusion Index by Principal Financial Group (Principal) and the Centre for Economics and Business Research.
Consumer data also showed a significant positive increase in perceptions of financial inclusion across Southeast Asia, with Malaysia jumping up in the rankings for public perception from 20th to the 15th spot, Principal said.
“The country saw improvement across two of the three pillars of financial inclusion, ranking 22nd for government support (up two places from 24th), 17th for financial system support (up six places from 23rd), and maintaining its fifth place ranking for employer support.
“Significant improvements in Malaysia’s digital economy contributed to its improved overall financial inclusion position, improved rankings for the ‘volume of real-time transactions’ (up 13 places to 14th) and ‘online connectivity’ (up three places to 24th) indicators,” the global financial company said in a statement today.
According to the World Bank, financial inclusion means individuals and businesses have access to useful and affordable financial products and services that meet their needs, and is a key enabler to reducing poverty and boosting prosperity.
Principal Malaysia country head and CEO Munirah Khairuddin said the continued focus on digitisation and other initiatives that eliminate barriers to people’s ability to save and invest will further improve financial inclusion across the country.
“It’s encouraging to see Malaysia rise in the rankings as well as an increase in the number of people who feel financially included in this country.
“Principal is proud to join in this effort through e-wallet solutions, which allows Malaysians to build optimal portfolios to achieve their financial goals,” she said.
Besides this, she said Principal will continue to work across sectors to help broaden awareness and access to the financial tools needed to help reach financial security.
The Global Financial Inclusion Index ranks 42 markets on three pillars of financial inclusion – government, financial system, and employer support – using data points across public and survey-based sources.