Financial inclusion is defined as a process that ensures the ease of access, availability and usage of the formal financial services for all members of an economy (Sarma, 2008). According to Global Findex data (2015), Indonesia has a low financial inclusion rate, that is 20-39 percent. In terms of savings ownership, the data of Household`s Balance Sheet Survey (Survei Neraca Rumah Tangga/SNRT) 2011 by Bank Indonesia showed that 43.57 percent of Indonesian households had savings at banks. Indonesian households also had low access for loans, where there was only 19.58 percent of Indonesian households who had loan from banks (Bank Indonesia, 2011).
In June 2012, the Government of Indonesia issued the National Strategy of Financial Inclusion (Strategi Nasional Keuangan Inklusif/SNKI). It aims to create financial system that can be accessed by all society in order to boost economic growth, reduce poverty, make equitable distribution of income, and create the stability of financial system in Indonesia. The Financial Service Authority (Otoritas Jasa Keuangan/OJK), as a regulator for financial sector and financial service institutions in Indonesia, actively participates in SNKI pillars, i.e. financial education, supporting policies and regulations, intermediation and distribution facility, and consumer protection. OJK participates in those pillars in order to achieve the ultimate goal of SNKI, i.e. creating financial system that can be accessed by all society to improve the economic welfare (POJK No. 19/POJK.03/2014 tentang Layanan Keuangan Tanpa Kantor dalam Rangka Keuangan Inklusif).
OJK has an interest to improve the financial inclusion level in Indonesia. Therefore, DEFINIT was appointed to carry out a study regarding financial inclusion level in Indonesia. The study aimed to compare financial inclusion level among Indonesia and other Asian countries and analyze factors affecting the improvement of financial inclusion level in Asian countries, including Indonesia. In particular, this study analyzed the relationship between financial inclusion and economic growth and also the magnitude of its impact.