Theories of Financial Inclusion

23 Pages Posted: 26 Feb 2020 Last revised: 20 Nov 2020

Date Written: January 1, 2020


This article presents several theories of financial inclusion. Financial inclusion is the ease of access to, and the availability of, basic financial services to all members of the population. Financial inclusion means that individuals and businesses have access to useful and affordable financial products and services that meet their needs in a responsible and sustainable way. Financial inclusion practices vary from country to country, and there is need to identify the underlying principles or propositions that can explain the observed variation in financial inclusion practices. These set of principles or propositions are called theories. Financial inclusion theories are explanations for observed financial inclusion practices. This study shows that the ideas and perspectives on financial inclusion can be grouped into theories to facilitate meaningful discussions in the literature. The financial inclusion theories are useful to researchers, academics and practitioners. The resulting contributions to theory development are useful to the problem-solving process in the global financial inclusion agenda.

Keywords: financial inclusion, theory, financial institutions, financial access, access to finance, dissatisfaction theory, vulnerable group, systems theory, community echelon, public service, special agent, financial literacy, collaborative intervention, intervention fund, households

JEL Classification: G00, G21, O16

Suggested Citation

Ozili, Peterson K, Theories of Financial Inclusion (January 1, 2020). Available at SSRN: or

Peterson K Ozili (Contact Author)

Independent ( email )


Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Abstract Views
PlumX Metrics