> Posted by Anita Gardeva

Word of the Week — Banking Outlet: A physical place where clients can access a financial service.

The following can all be considered banking outlets: a bank branch, an ATM, a banking agent (such as a gas station or post office that provides financial services), a retail store with in-store banking, a mobile phone, a website (in the case of e-banking), or a point of sale (POS) device (these are portable devices with antennas or connected to tellers that function as a sort of ATM).

The existence of convenient and easily accessible banking outlets is a significant part of expanding financial inclusion.

Spotlight Fact: Center for Financial Inclusion research shows that 35-45 percent of Mexican households live in towns that lack any banking outlet.

Other researchers have found enormous country-by-country differences in access to banking outlets.

Mexico, for example, has 7.6 bank branches per 100,000 people, while in Spain the comparable figure is 95.9. Spain also averages 78.9 bank branches per 1,000 sq. km., compared to only 4.1 branches for a comparable area in Mexico.

Suggested Resources: To read more of the research on banking outlets, see Thorsten Beck, Asli Demirgüç-Kunt, Maria Soledad Martinez Peria, “Reaching Out: Access to and Use of Banking Services Across Countries,”Journal of Financial Economics (85)1.

For more financial inclusion terms, please visit the Financial Inclusion Glossary.

For more information, sign up for updates from the Financial Inclusion 2020 campaign.