The Phenomenon of Financial Exclusion in Rural Areas – Case Studies of the Gołdapski County
Purpose: The aim of this study is to show the phenomenon of financial exclusion in rural areas as a problem limiting socio-economic development. Design/Methodology/Approach: The opinions of the residents of Gołdapski County regarding the tools and services of modern banking were examined, assessing the relationship between them and the demographic characteristics of the respondents. Findings: Financial exclusion was found to particularly affect older people i.e., over 60 years of age. This is especially true for people who were born in the years when e-banking and other modern banking services associated with IT development were not available. An additional factor is also the level of education of the respondents. Practical Implications: The development of rural areas depends both on their stock of human capital, including the age and level of education of the population, but also on the banking infrastructure that facilitates, among other things, job creation and thus limits the migration of young people from these areas. In the case of Gołdapski county which is attractive for tourists and well equipped with this kind of infrastructure, the factors influencing the phenomenon of financial exclusion were the lack of knowledge and fear of the complexity of services, as well as the age of the respondents, often causing self-exclusion in this area. Originality/Value: The research results included in the article fill the cognitive gap concerning the phenomenon of financial exclusion in rural areas, even those which are attractive in terms of tourism. They emphasize the importance of age as a factor causing the formation of exclusion, including financial self-exclusion, especially among people who were born in the years before the dynamic development of banking using IT techniques.