From Access to Use: Insights on Serving Women Banking Customers in India

November 3, 2023

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India leads the world in the expansion of financial access to low-income people, especially low-income women. As the access challenge is nearly solved, the opportunity financial services providers now face is engaging their customers.

Public Sector Banks (PSBs) are uniquely positioned to effect a pronounced positive impact on customers with simplified accounts, called Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana (PMJDY) accounts, by increasing awareness of account features, providing opportunities for gaining experience using financial services in a low-risk environment, connecting account use to income-generating activities, and building a rapport with customers.

This survey of nearly 6,000 PSB customers across four Indian states highlights the opportunity this population presents to financial services providers. We detail ideas for serving these customers by analyzing financial needs and preferences through a practical, gender-focused lens—drawn from deep experience designing accounts, credit, insurance, and payments with such elements in mind. The research answers the question, “How might PMJDY accounts better serve low-income customers, particularly women, in India?”