Identifying and Verifying Customers: When are KYC Requirements Likely to Become Constraints on Financial Inclusion?

December 17, 2019


Onerous KYC documentation requirements are widely recognized as a potential constraint to full financial inclusion. However, it is sometimes difficult to judge the extent to which this constraint is a serious or binding one, relative to the many other factors that can limit access to finance or demand for financial services. The paper considers this question, distinguishing between different types of documentation and different financial market segments according to their KYC requirements. Using data from several sources it then looks at cross-country patterns which provide some suggestive evidence on the conditions under which particular requirements are more or less likely to pose serious constraints. It concludes with policy suggestions, including on the use of technology to help ease the burden of documentary requirements while still maintaining financial integrity.

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