74% of adult rural residents in China had their own bank account as of the end of 2014, marking a substantial gain from 54% in 2011 and helping bring the nationwide rate up to 79%, The Wall Street Journal reported, citing new data from the World Bank. China’s banks have traditionally balked at the cost of building branches in poorer areas of the country, though 47% of the country’s population still lives in the countryside. But in recent years Beijing has ramped up transfer payments to rural residents for agricultural subsidies, old-age support and other benefits that necessitate a bank account to pay into electronically.
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