27% of the population of Yemen has access to the internet
No Open Banking
12% of adults in Yemen had bank accounts, leaving 88% unbanked.
Yemen operates a large-scale Government to People program and an emergency cash transfer project (p. 25). Cash transfers include social transfers and wage and pension payments. Emergency cash transfers are typically used for food, schooling, and medicine and are supported by international donors, including the World Bank, UNICEF, and the US State Department. Yemen’s emergency cash payments could be an opportunity to leverage the newly introduced e-wallet to facilitate access to medicine or health services.
Yemen’s devastating civil war has created a humanitarian crisis, and economic prospects are uncertain.
The Central Bank of Yemen first authorised mobile banking licenses in 2014 with the aim of expanding banking services (p. 25). Service growth was slow, due to a bank-led model that requires nonbanks, such as mobile network operators, to operate through banks. This model limits competition and scope for innovators to reach unbanked populations. Mobile banking services were supported by less stringent KYC rules for reaching new populations, developed in partnership with USAID, the World Bank, and GIZ.
Yemen ranked 131st out of 134 in Wiley’s Digital Skills Gap Index (DSGI) 2021.