The developing countries in Europe and Central Asia (ECA) have a total population of 416 million people. According to Global Findex Report 2017, account ownership among these countries grew steadily, reaching 65 percent in 2017, up from 58 percent in 2014. Women are less likely to own an account then men; 69 percent of men had an account compared to 63 percent of women in 2017. However, the gender gap in account ownership of 6 percentage points is lower than the global average of 9 percentage points for developing countries.
The region is characterized by a large share of the adult population receiving public sector wages and pensions which are generally paid into accounts; 17 percent of adults opened their first account to receive government payments. As a result, digitizing government payments is considered an effective way of reducing the number of unbanked people in the region. An increasing share of adults - 60 percent in 2017, higher than any other region - are making or receiving digital payments.