Barriers and Drivers of Financially Including Women
More and more banks and services are pushing to reduce reliance on over the counter banking transactions by introducing mobile banking options that can be handled by agents or by a user’s personal mobile phone. These services are aimed at making financial services more convenient and accessible to the global population. However, access to these services is not yet universal with a great imbalance between genders. The Global Findex 2014 shows that on a worldwide average, women are 36 percent less likely to have access to mobile money services in both low and middle income families. The greatest mobile money gap between genders comes from South Asia where women are 67 percent less likely to have an account.
Mobile money services are a key to empower women to contribute to economic growth and sustainability. So, what then, are the barriers that are keeping women from having a stronger influence on their savings and spending power? Transaction fees are one of the contributors and have a greater effect on women who tend to earn less money and have less control over household expenditures. Women are also more likely to save money for family emergencies and education, making them more price sensitive with financial products. Women are also more likely to have less confidence using financial products due to lack of understanding or financial literacy. Women tend to be less technologically literate than men and less likely to use a product that they do not fully understand how to use. Stay tuned for next week’s post that will discuss what women like about mobile money services.