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The digital wallet beats the savings account

Survey Demand for Financial Inclusion
The digital wallet beats the savings account - ISTOCK | Taken from

In the Financial Inclusion Survey, 47% of people say they have both products, but the digital one is used more.

Low-amount deposit products or so-called digital wallets are growing more than savings accounts, as they are an alternative for people to make payments more easily.

This is one of the conclusions recorded in the 2022 Financial Inclusion Demand Survey of the Superintendence of Finance and Banking of Opportunities and which was applied by the Centro Nacional de Consultoría between last April and May.

An important finding of the survey is that people value digital alternatives for the speed and ease they offer, says Freddy Castro, director of Banca de las Oportunidades.

Likewise, the manager says that the message to the financial system is that at a time when there is more digital education, it is necessary to think about generating a value offer according to those needs.

In addition, he commented that although cash is still king, "we are living in a more digital environment."

In the survey it is noted that when asking people what means of payment they made their purchases with, 60% said it was with cash, but Castro warns that in the recent past the answers were higher than 80%.

Another of the challenges posed by the study, in Castro's opinion, is that the financial culture in insurance must be strengthened, since most people do not know what the characteristics of the risks are.

Regarding the deposit and payment alternatives, 47.9% indicated that they had a savings account and, in an equal proportion, a digital wallet. 37.0% use a debit card and 9.2% a current account.

“The data obtained allows us to see how the digitization processes were accelerated, as well as the changes in the relationship model of the financial system with its users. A scenario in which digital financial products have been appropriated in an important way among financial consumers”, explained Mariana Escobar, Head of Sustainable Finance of the Superfinanciera.

Preferred channels

According to the information collected, the most used financial channels in the country are ATMs (33.6%), followed by banking correspondents (33%) and digital media (Internet or mobile telephony [24.5%] ). Only 9% of those surveyed reported that physical offices are the option they most frequently use to carry out their operations.

Respondents were asked about which was the alternative they used the most in the last month and the transactions made by transfer through the cell phone reached a preference of 41% by the respondents.

When asked about the preferred means of payment to manage daily expenses, 62.2% of those surveyed indicated that they did so with physical money, 18.1% with debit cards and 15.2% through electronic transactions.

In the Central East region, virtual channels are more widely accepted (51.3%), while banking correspondents are preferred by consumers in the coffee region (41.5%).

On the other hand, Internet transactions and ATMs are more used in urban areas, while in rural areas the preference prevails in money transfer companies.

53.4% ​​said they have the habit of saving. Within this group, 77.6% said they did so in order to have economic support to deal with emergencies and unforeseen events, that is, as an insurance mechanism.

The three main means most used to save are virtual wallets with 10.4%, banks, cooperatives or employee funds with 11.4% and the traditional piggy bank or other means in their home with 22.4%.

27% of those interviewed indicated that they had a current credit. In the Center East and Center South, financing mechanisms are used and the Caribbean region presented the lowest levels.

At the national level, it was observed that, within the formal sources of credit, the main ones are banks (66.9%) and cooperatives (14.3%). Regarding the most used informal credit sources are family and friends with 7.6%.

The indicator of approval of credits requested before authorized entities was around 94% for all credit modalities at the national level.

For 68.3% of those who said they did not have a formal credit or have made an application in the last year, the main reasons were: not wanting to have debts (66.9%), believing that it is an expensive option (32, 6%), have low income (26.8%) and have no guarantees (13.2%).

In the field of voluntary insurance, funeral and life insurance were the most used among those surveyed with 14.4% and 12.9%, respectively.

Men indicated insurance to a greater extent than women, both mandatory (27.3% vs. 10.0%) and voluntary (34.0% vs. 26.1%).

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The article highlights the rising popularity of digital wallets, emphasizing their convenience and accessibility compared to traditional savings accounts. It details how digital wallets offer real-time transactions, easy budgeting tools, and integration with various financial services, making them increasingly attractive to consumers. The shift reflects broader trends in fintech innovation and changing consumer preferences. To capitalize on this trend, companies should develop a robust social media marketing strategy, leveraging platforms to educate and engage potential users about the benefits of digital wallets, thereby driving adoption and enhancing customer loyalty.

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