Bangladesh

Bangladesh has rapidly reduced poverty in recent years in large part thanks to policies that focus on financial inclusion, infrastructure, and social security. However, with a widening financial inclusion gender gap, it is imperative to address the barriers women face in order to prevent women from being left further behind in Bangladesh’s growing economy.

arrow-down

Strong economic growth with 6.5% GDP growth over last 5 years, driven by Ready-made garment sector, remittances, and agriculture

8th MostPopulous Nation


Young population(65% <35 years old)


Rural population(68%)

Low female labor force representation

48%

76% (79% of women) live below $2.50 / day


High migrant population, likely because of natural disasters & poverty

Improvement in financialinclusion from 31% to

50%


However, gender gap haswidened1 from 7% to

29%

Only 36% ofwomen have anaccount comparedto 65% of men

Even among those with a financialaccount, usage is limited2

41.3 MM Unbanked/Underbanked Women

37MM (64%) unbanked adult women

4.3MM (21%) underserved adult women

High phone penetration

147MM

mobile subscribers

.

59MM

registered and 20MMmobile money accounts

However, usage remains low

Only 5% of women with registered mobile money accounts actively use it (vs. 15% of men), and 70% are OTC transactions

Financial ServiceProviders

Microfinance institutions have pioneered financial inclusion in Bangladesh, particularly in rural areas, and have about 20 million customers, 90% of whom are women Mobile financial services is dominated by 2 players, bKash and DBBL, and remains bank-led Lack of a digital ecosystem (e.g., payments system) will restrict growth of FinTechs

Government

National Financial Inclusion Strategy2019-2024 drafted, and expected to havea focus on women and youth Focus on digitization (Digital Bangladesh);salaries and government-to-person (G2P)payments are disbursed via mobile financialservices (MFS) Regulatory structure inhibits growth ofMFS — offerings must be bank-led and nomandated interoperability

37MM women (64%) remain unbanked and 4.3MM women have accounts that have not been used in the last 12 months

THE OPPORTUNITIES

1

Partner with existing providers of G2P, salarydisbursements and MFIs that serve women todeepen engagement with existing formalfinancial solutions

2

Partner with over-the-counter service providers (e.g., remittances) to drive customer acquisition and deepen access to mobile financial services

Bangladesh has made striking economic progress but there’s much more to do with a specific gender lens. By securing partnerships and designing solutions to meet women’s specific needs, Women’s World Banking aims to reverse the growing gender gap to help build a more inclusive economy.

1. World Bank Findex 2017 Data2. World Bank Findex 2017 Data