Banking on Women: Strategies to Increase Access and Engagement
Across low and middle-income countries, significant gender gaps persist in women’s access to and usage of financial services. This is despite the fact that financial service providers (FSPs) have a clear business case for serving women: they save more relative to their total income than men do, pay back their loans at a higher rate, buy more products per customer and are more loyal to their banks if they are served well (GBA 2014). However, many FSPs miss out on female customers because women can’t easily access their services or because their products and services are not sufficiently tailored to meet women’s needs, behavior and preferences.
In this session, presenters from AWEF, Opportunity International and the UN Capital Development Fund will discuss different strategies they have used to design and deliver financial services tailored to the female market segment. In Jordan, AWEF has supported Dinarak, a leading e-wallet provider, to roll out a female agent network and, in Ghana, Opportunity International Savings and Loans (OISL), has piloted an Interactive Voice Response (IVR) service to deliver financial education to women and drive engagement with its savings products. And in Malawi and Zambia UNCDF has been working on increasing financial inclusion through digital finance. Through these case studies, presenters will share with the audience innovative ways in which they can improve women’s access to financial services in diverse contexts.
- Rebecca Kinahan, Program Manager, Arab Women’s Enterprise Fund & Senior Consultant, Economic Growth–Delivery Unit, DAI
- Sabal Majali, Market Systems Analyst, Arab Women’s Enterprise Fund
- Dana Lunberry, Customer Experience and Research Manager, Digital Financial Services Team, Opportunity International
- Mary Pat McVay, Research and Knowledge Manager, Opportunity International
- Nandini Harihareswara, Digital Finance Technical Specialist, United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF)