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Financial inclusion and digital banking on an emergent economy

Eva María Guerra-Leal (Marketing and Analytics, Tecnológico de Monterrey, Monterrey, Mexico)
Florina Guadalupe Arredondo-Trapero (Humanistic Estudies, Tecnológico de Monterrey, Monterrey, Mexico)
José Carlos Vázquez-Parra (Humanistic Estudies, Tecnológico de Monterrey, Monterrey, Mexico)

Review of Behavioral Finance

ISSN: 1940-5979

Article publication date: 29 December 2021

Issue publication date: 14 March 2023




To analyze financial inclusion through digital banking in order to identify how digital banking is including or excluding different types of populations in an emergent economy.


Chi-square statistical tests were conducted to test the relationship between demographic variables (i.e. gender, region, locality and age) with having a digital banking account, types of services and reasons for not using them. As an example of an emergent economy, the Mexican Financial Inclusion Survey database was used, which includes stratified and clustered sampling.


Having a bank account with digital banking is related to gender. Women are more excluded than men, demonstrating a gender gap in access to digital banking accounts. Moreover, having a bank account with digital banking depends on the region. In regions where digital banking is more developed, the population uses a wide variety of digital banking services, in contrast to less developed regions. About the size of the locality, the lack of financial inclusion via digital banking is more common in rural contexts or small cities, demonstrating the exclusion of this type of population.

Research limitations/implications

This study is conducted with data from the latest Mexican Financial Inclusion Survey. Since the National Institute of Statistics and Geography (NISG) in Mexico previously conducted the study for exploratory purposes, it was not possible for the researchers to modify the variables.

Practical implications

The results might be considered on similar emergent economies to promote financial inclusion of vulnerable groups such as women, people living in underdeveloped regions, rural areas, small cities and elders. These findings may provide criteria for both government agencies and banking institutions to make efforts focused on including these population groups that have not been financially included through digital banking.


Identifying the barriers that affect financial inclusion, such as gender, region, size of the city and age can help to guide efforts to achieve greater economic freedom and quality of life for diverse types of populations. Although the study is carried out in an emerging economy, the results can also shed light on how to address these forms of exclusion that occur in different types of economies. It is understood that the lack of financial inclusion is a limitation to the economic freedom and quality of life to which everyone should have access, hence the relevance of the article.



Guerra-Leal, E.M., Arredondo-Trapero, F.G. and Vázquez-Parra, J.C. (2023), "Financial inclusion and digital banking on an emergent economy", Review of Behavioral Finance, Vol. 15 No. 2, pp. 257-272.



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