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Women’s World Banking, MetLife Foundation and Dutch Bangla Bank Leverage Mobile Financial Services to Tackle Women’s Financial Inclusion
NEW YORK – With support from MetLife Foundation, Women’s World Banking has partnered with Dutch-Bangla Bank (DBBL) to increase the usage of mobile financial services by low-income women in Bangladesh.
As the pace of innovation in the financial services industry grows, women are in danger of falling further behind in accessing and using mobile financial services. According to the Global Findex,1.1 billion, or about two-thirds of all unbanked adults have a mobile phone. Despite this, there is a consistent gender gap of 9 percent in the developing world, with women 10 percent less likely to own a mobile phone and 6 percent less likely to own a phone and have access to internet. Bangladesh’s gender gap in financial access grew 20 percentage points from 2014 to 2017 and at 29 percentage points, it is now one of the largest gender gaps in the world.
DBBL Rocket, DBBL’s mobile financial service offering, provides women with a safe and convenient way to use mobile financial services. Through its promotion of wallet usage, women now have access to a safe place to keep their money and transact.
This collaboration will enable Women’s World Banking to implement behavioral research and women-centered design to better understand the barriers that women face in using financial services in Bangladesh—with a focus on digital and mobile services—and ultimately pilot programs to increase usage of DBBL Rocket by low-income women. The lessons will be used as a model to foster the expansion of women’s usage of mobile financial services around the world.
“We believe that active usage of mobile financial services leads to increased financial security and empowerment for women,” said Mary Ellen Iskenderian, President and CEO of Women’s World Banking. “We are thrilled to be working with DBBL and the MetLife Foundation to leverage technology to achieve greater financial inclusion for women in Bangladesh.”
“MFS offers the opportunity to build another channel beyond the bank branch and ATM network to enable millions to have easier access to the formal banking system. Access to formal financial services can help households to better plan and manage their lives. Our aim is to build a safe, competitive and commercially viable MFS market.”, said Mr. Abul Kashem Md. Shirin, Managing Director & CEO of Dutch-Bangla Bank Limited.
“As Bangladesh makes rapid economic growth, it is very important to recognize the role of women in the economy and ensure that they have access to targeted, affordable and conveniently delivered financial services in order for them to be able to capitalize on the opportunities to improve financial health of themselves and their families” said Md. Nurul Islam, Chairman of MetLife Bangladesh, Nepal & Myanmar. He added, “MetLife Foundation is proud to be supporting Women’s World Banking and their partnership with DBBL, both highly capable and reputable organizations, towards this shared goal of increasing usage of targeted digital financial services among low income women in Bangladesh.”
About Women’s World Banking
Women’s World Banking designs and invests in the financial solutions, institutions and policy environments in emerging markets to create greater economic stability and prosperity for women, their families, and their communities. With a global reach of 53 partners in 32 countries serving more than 30 million women clients, Women’s World Banking drives impact through its scalable, market-driven solutions; gender-lens private equity fund; and leadership and diversity programs. To learn more about Women’s World Banking, visit womensworldbanking.org.
About MetLife Foundation
MetLife Foundation was created in 1976 to continue MetLife’s long tradition of corporate contributions and community involvement. Since its founding through the end of 2017, MetLife Foundation has provided more than $783 million in grants and $70 million in program-related investments to organizations addressing issues that have a positive impact in their communities. In 2013, the Foundation committed $200 million to financial inclusion, and our work to date has reached more than 3.5 million low-income individuals in 42 countries. To learn more about MetLife Foundation, visit metlife.org.
About Dutch-Bangla Bank
Dutch-Bangla Bank Limited (DBBL) is a scheduled commercial bank set up as a joint venture between Bangladesh and The Netherlands. The Bank obtained license from Bangladesh Bank on 23 July 1995 and started its banking business with one branch on 3 June 1996. DBBL is the first bank in the country to introduce online Banking services with all delivery channels. The Bank provides all kinds of commercial banking products and services to the customers through its wide network of Branches, ATMs, POS, Fast Tracks, internet banking, mobile banking, agent banking and delivery channels backed by a robust and sound IT infrastructure. DBBL’s supremacy in the market is manifested in its strongest retail deposit network having 23.04 million customers powered by state-of-the-art IT platform coupled with the largest ATM network in the country.
Since inception, DBBL has been pioneer in discharging social responsibilities. To this end, Dutch-Bangla Bank Foundation (DBBF) was established in 2001 to perform CSR related activities in areas of broad society concerns. DBBL views Corporate Social Responsibilities (CSR) as an integral part of its effort in conducting business in a socially responsible manner.
DBBL has been awarded for its different achievements in the field of finance, trade service, technology-driven banking, financial inclusion in the country by various esteemed organization in home and abroad.
The Bank has been rated as ‘Ba3’ by internationally renowned credit rating agency, Moody’s Investors Service. DBBL is one of the best rated banks as ‘AA+/AA1’ by the domestic credit rating agencies for the last 7 consecutive years. To learn more about DBBL, visit dutchbanglabank.com.