The Getting Financial Services Survey Initiative was a new World Bank Group program which had been launched for the first time in 2007. The goal was to collect information on availability of a spectrum of retail financial services through the principal commercial banks of a country, and to understand how such services could be expanded or strengthened. The program was initially launched in a pilot group of 30-50 countries world wide, with the aim of achieving global coverage within a year. A standardized survey instrument was used across all countries to ensure cross-country comparability.