Portuguese digital financial inclusion varies significantly across age groups
The Portuguese people have a high level of financial inclusion according to the report Inclusão Financeira e Digital e Escolha de Produtos Bancários em Portugal (Financial and digital inclusion and banking product choice in Portugal), published today by the Banco de Portugal. This report assesses data collected at the start of 2020 for the third survey on the financial literacy of the Portuguese population.
Approximately 70% of respondents are at the highest level of financial inclusion, given that they regularly use their current account and have other financial products, in particular time deposits (41.6%) and credit cards (36.2%). The share of respondents who know of the existence of basic bank accounts is considerable (50.9%). More than one-fifth (23%) knows this account exists and that in order to access it the customer must hold a single current account in the banking system, which is a significant increase from 2015 (4.9%) and 2010 (1.4%).
In terms of digital financial inclusion, nearly half of respondents use the digital channels (homebanking or app) provided by institutions to access the current account and other banking products and services. There are considerable differences between age groups. Of those aged 25-39, 74.7% of respondents use digital channels, compared to 8.1% of respondents aged 70 and over.
Saving remains a priority for most Portuguese, with around 60% of respondents claiming they save, in line with the results obtained in 2015 (59%) but above those of 2010 (52%). The main reason for saving is to cover unforeseen expenses (49.8% of respondents). Respondents also mentioned they save for future intermittent expenses, such as holidays or travel (15.4%), to help their children and pay for their education (14%) or towards retirement (9.5%).
Three quarters of respondents who have loans mentioned they read the pre-contractual and contractual information. Approximately 72% of respondents with time deposits reported they read this information. The advice given at the branch by a staff member is mentioned by 63.9% of respondents as their source of information when taking out a loan and by 41.4% of respondents when opening a time deposit.
In terms of understanding financial concepts, respondents have difficulty describing the concepts of ‘Euribor’ and ‘spread’.
Respondents with greater levels of education and income have the highest scores in the global financial literacy index. Young people have shown higher levels than those aged 70 and over. In turn, those employed have a better performance than those unemployed, while women have in general lower results than men.