Fintech companies are reshaping the way we interact with money and financial services, and their impact goes beyond just convenience and efficiency. A fintech, or financial technology company, is an innovative organization that leverages digital technology to provide a wide range of financial services, including digital banking, mobile payments and
Digital Financial Services
Explore the latest global and regional insights from Women’s World Banking’s work in policy, leadership, women’s entrepreneurship, gender lens investing, and more.
By Ker Thao, Maria Serenade, and Elwyn Panggabean In Cambodia, three million out of 10 million young adults remain financially underserved, hindering their ability to plan and invest for their futures. As part of its drive for greater financial inclusion, Women’s World Banking is working with AMK Microfinance Institution –
“Although three-quarters of a billion women are still excluded from the formal financial system, we remain steadfast in the mission to usher in universal financial inclusion to unlock the potential of women worldwide.” – Mary Ellen Iskenderian, President and CEO of Women’s World Banking What is Financial Inclusion? Our world
In this series we dive into the work happening around the world with Women’s Digital Financial Inclusion Advocacy Hub partners, and explore how they are driving women’s digital financial inclusion. As evidenced by last year’s Global Findex Report, digital financial inclusion isn’t just an urgent moral imperative, but an economic
#ItsHerEconomyToo Interview Series: How One Indian Fintech Company is Advancing Women’s Digital Equity
In this series we dive into the work happening around the world with Women’s Digital Financial Inclusion Advocacy Hub partners, and explore how they are driving women’s digital financial inclusion. As evidenced by this year’s Global Findex Report, digital financial inclusion isn’t just an urgent moral imperative, but an economic one
Global Hub Launched to Eradicate Women’s Digital Financial Exclusion and Accelerate Women’s Business Ownership
New Women’s Digital Financial Inclusion Advocacy Hub to Champion Equal Access to Digital Financial Services for Women; Initial Efforts to Support Local Coalitions in Indonesia and Ethiopia; as well as Encourage Others to Join the Coalition NEW YORK – July 20, 2022 – Women’s World Banking and the UN Capital
How Digital Wallets are Transforming Remittances as an Entry-point for Domestic Workers into Formal Financial Services
This is the third in a three-part series examining a fresh approach to digital remittances in Indonesia. By Angela Ang, Elwyn Panggabean, and Ker Thao Over the last six months, we launched a pilot program with DANA, one of Indonesia’s largest e-wallet providers, to provide a digital remittance solution for
Six Insights from the 2021 World Bank Global Findex Data By Sonja Kelly, Director of Research & Advocacy For those of us in the financial inclusion world, the release of the Global Findex is a pivotal moment. The data are typically compiled every three years – this time, due to Covid,
Report: Beyond Wage Digitization: Financial Capability and Economic Empowerment of Cambodian Women Migrant Workers
This report provides an analysis of the levels of financial awareness, financial behaviors, and economic empowerment of women factory workers in Cambodia. The findings are based on a survey of 2,781 female research participants, a majority of whom are migrants from rural or remote areas and all of whom are
This is the second in a three-part series examining a fresh approach to digital remittances in Indonesia. By Angela Ang, Elwyn Panggabean, and Ker Thao For domestic workers in Indonesia, remittances provide a critical means of support for their families. As we noted in our first blog, domestic workers need
Women’s World Banking will use funds to create economic opportunities for women and girls amidst COVID-19 recovery New York, NY, November 8, 2021: Women’s World Banking has been named one of 34 selected organizations to receive funds from the Google.org Impact Challenge for Women and Girls out of nearly 8,000
In Conversation with Janet Truncale: Understanding AI’s Role in Developing Financial Solutions for Women
Janet Truncale is Vice Chair and Regional Managing Partner of the Americas Financial Services Organization (FSO), EY and Women’s World Banking’s Board Chair. A seasoned business leader, she oversees a diverse team of more than 14,000 professionals who are based in over 90 cities across the Americas. Janet works closely
This is the first in a three-part series examining a fresh approach to digital remittances in Indonesia. By Angela Ang, Elwyn Panggabean, and Ker Thao In Asia, Indonesia has the second largest migrant population, with international migrant workers comprising a large portion of the economy. There are approximately 4.5 million
Third annual global fintech competition celebrates trail-blazing solutions for women’s financial inclusion NEW YORK, NY, October 12, 2021 — Women’s World Banking announced today Boost Capital and People’s Pension Trust as the winners of its Third Annual Fintech Innovation Challenge, part of the organization’s Making Finance Work for Women Thought
Accelerating Adoption of Digital Financial Services: Replicating a digital account usage solution for factory workers in Cambodia
By Whitney Mapes, Elwyn Panggabean For low-income women worldwide, digital financial services can act as a stepping stone to greater financial inclusion, yet barriers to activating usage have prevented women from realizing their full benefits. Among the many obstacles women face to using digital financial services are a lack of
Enliven Indonesia’s Independence Day Through Digital Financial Service Education Program Jakarta, August 2021 – The informal sector, which comprises domestic workers, plays a critical role in Indonesia’s economy. Referring to Statistics Indonesia’s (BPS) data, there are 78.14 million informal workers as of February 2021, making up 60 percent of Indonesia’s
Women’s World Banking Announces Inaugural Winner of the Fintech Innovation Challenge Female Founder Award
This award recognizes the growing leadership of women in fintech and their impact in advancing gender equality NEW YORK — September 27, 2021 – Women’s World Banking today announced Alexa Varsavsky, CEO and head of product, and Isabel Oriol, COO and head of business development, at ADA Impacto, as the
Women’s World Banking Hosts Panel to Explore AI’s Role in Developing Gender Sensitive Financial Solutions
On September 8, 2021, Women’s World Banking hosted a virtual panel discussion on “Using AI to Develop Gender Sensitive Solutions” as part of its Making Finance Work for Women Thought Leadership Series. Moderated by Janet Truncale, Vice Chair and Regional Managing Partner of EY’s Americas Financial Services Organization, the panel included
NEW YORK, September 15, 2021 – Women’s World Banking is pleased to announce the four finalists of its third annual Making Finance Work for Women Fintech Innovation Challenge. The finalists, chosen from a pool of applicants from 34 countries, represent a critical wave of innovative fintech solutions designed to support low-income women’s
The United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) has recently launched the Inclusive Digital Economies and Gender Equality Playbook. This playbook is a practical how-to guide on leveraging the market system development approach to decrease the digital and financial divide for women and girls, use technology to improve women’s economic opportunities,
Fintechs that Serve Unbanked and Underserved Women Encouraged to Apply NEW YORK – Today, Women’s World Banking announced that the application period is now open for the 2021 Fintech Innovation Challenge, a global competition that aims to highlight fintech innovations serving unbanked and underserved women in order to build women’s
A Q & A with Sonja Kelly of Women’s World Banking and Alex Rizzi of CFI, building on Women’s World Banking’s report and CFI’s report on algorithmic bias It seems conversations around biased AI have been around for some time. Is it too late to address this? Alex: It’s just
By Marina Dimova, Managing Director of Design and Innovation, Women’s World Banking and Julia Arnold, Senior Research Director, Women’s Financial Inclusion, Center for Financial Inclusion Informed and empowered men and women make fewer risky financial decisions than those with less knowledge. And for a low-income woman, having the right knowledge
In May 2020, Women’s World Banking conducted its first remote research during the Covid-19 pandemic with 44 beneficiaries, PKH facilitators, and bank agents across 11 districts of Indonesia. The research reveals that further efforts are needed to ensure beneficiaries have critical information about the program to support their financial planning and
With support from the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and in partnership with the International Labour Organization, Women’s World Banking assessed the awareness, use, and acceptance of digital wage payments among enterprises and workers in the Philippines. The Philippines’ thriving digital economy and proliferation of new digital solutions,
The impact of COVID-19 has hit women and girls hard. The World Bank reports that 2021 will bring the first increase in extreme poverty since 1998, with a minimum of 71 million people expected to fall into destitution, and UN Women estimates that at least 47 million more women and girls will fall below the
Financial inclusion is becoming more and more digital. To accelerate this journey to digitization, and not let women customers be left even further behind, we need to ensure policymakers and financial service providers focus on effectively supporting women customers build their digital financial capabilities, so they can use digital financial services with ease and confidence. This report
By Sonja Kelly, Director of Research and Advocacy, and Mehrdad Mirpourian, Senior Data Analyst In 2020, we began a journey to understand algorithmic bias as it relates to women’s financial inclusion. What is it? Why does it matter especially now? Where does it emerge? How might it be mitigated? This
Report: Algorithmic Bias, Financial Inclusion, and Gender: A primer on opening up new credit to women in emerging economies
Artificial intelligence and machine learning are changing financial services offerings to customers across the globe. Historically, women have been the victims of unconscious bias in lending decisions. Algorithm-enabled credit decisions have the potential to create a level playing field for female customers worldwide—but only if we find and mitigate biases
By Jennifer Iwueze, Women’s World Banking Research Specialist Among Nigerian consumers, spending on e-commerce currently accounts for an estimated $12 billion per year. By 2025, that spending is projected to swell to $75 billion in annual revenues. Numerous factors are driving significant growth in this sector, including an increase in
By Sonja Kelly, Director of Research and Advocacy, and Mehrdad Mirpourian, Senior Data Analyst Women’s World Banking is starting on a journey to find out if data can predict the future of women’s economic empowerment—and we’d like you to follow along. The task is daunting, even for a team of
By Sonja Kelly, Director of Research and Advocacy, Women’s World Banking One of the most elusive questions in financial inclusion is how to facilitate growth of small businesses—and particularly of women-owned businesses. With this question in mind, in 2016 Kenya Commercial Bank (KCB) and Women’s World Banking set out on
By Sonja Kelly, Director of Research and Advocacy, Women’s World Banking Bias happens. It is widely discussed across the world as different industries use machine learning and artificial intelligence to increase efficiency in their processes. I’m sure you’ve seen the headlines. Amazon’s hiring algorithm systematically screened out women candidates. Microsoft’s
Women’s Economic Empowerment is the Doorway to Economic Recovery and Growth Post-COVID-19; Fintechs are the Key
This is cross-posted from DC Fintech Week where our President and CEO Mary Ellen Iskenderian spoke on the panel “Building Equity into Start-Ups: Lessons from Women in Fintech.” We also want to congratulate our winners from our Making Finance Work for Women Fintech Innovation Challenge 2020 winners, Tyme and myAgro! Co-Authors: Mary Ellen Iskenderian,
This post is provided by the Better than Cash Alliance, United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF), in support of the Making Finance Work for Women Summit’s Ask the Experts session “Driving the Potential of Digitized Wages” in which Marjo Chaintreau, Private Sector Digital Innovation Lead, Better Than Cash Alliance UNCDF, served as
Digital Cash Transfers in Times of COVID-19: Opportunities and Considerations for Women’s Inclusion and Empowerment
Women’s economic empowerment will be essential for a global economic recovery. Given pre-existing gender gaps, there are concerns about exclusion for many of the social assistance programs already being rolled out around the world. Social protection systems that ignore gender inequality will likely fail to mitigate the risks of COVID-19
By Nithya Sharma, Manager, Strategy, at Women’s World Banking Over the past decade, Vietnam’s economy has been surging – with strong GDP growth, a reduction in poverty, and an increase in formal employment to 30% of the active labor force. Vietnam also has a thriving digital economy, with a regulatory
By Mehrdad (Mehi) Mirpourian, Senior Data Analyst, Research, Monitoring and Evaluation, at Women’s World Banking “There have been as many plagues as wars in history; yet always plagues and wars take people equally by surprise.” – Albert Camus, The Plague Introduction Businesses function in environments that are agile and hard
With support from the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and in partnership with the International Labour Organization, Women’s World Banking assessed the awareness, use and acceptance of digital wage payments among enterprises and workers in Vietnam. The resulting study includes an analysis of the financial behaviors and attitudes
By Giudy Rusconi, Specialist, Quantitative Research and Sonja Kelly, Director of Research and Advocacy, Women’s World Banking Financial institutions provide a literal lifeline for many of their hundreds of millions of clients around the world, and never more so than now. As Covid-19 spreads to more low- and middle-income countries,
By Marina Dimova, Managing Director of Design and Innovation and Diana Boncheva Gooley, Manager of Digital Financial Services, Women’s World Banking The Covid-19 global pandemic has heightened the strategic importance of integrating digital channels into how financial services providers engage with customers. How can financial services providers respond to the
By Mary Ellen Iskenderian, President & CEO of Women’s World Banking Covid-19 has laid bare the fault lines of inequality around the world, revealing stark discrepancies in the manner and extent to which people experience the effects of a global pandemic. In the United States this is brought into sharp relief
Scroll down for Spanish translation (DESPLAZARSE HACIA ABAJO PARA LA TRADUCCIÓN AL ESPAÑOL) By Sophie Theis and Alexandre Berthaud To promote savings for group loan clients in Mexico, Women’s World Banking designed a solution integrated into the Compartamos group loan model. In this blog, we share lessons learned from user
Intro clip (Dr. Tosan Oruwariye): When you have an idea, you really need to have passion for that idea and know the mission. What you’re trying to do if you’re mission driven. Because there’ll be shocks and bumps along the way. That’s guaranteed. So, you need to be persistent. You
“You get to hear what works for other organizations, other commercial banks like ourselves, and get to meet up with Fintechs. A lot of good ideas: It’s mind-blowing. The perspective that Women’s World Banking itself brings in, it’s a complete solution.” For low-income women who are running their own business
Elisabeth Ballreich, Principal Investment Officer & Operations Manager at Women’s World Banking, is featured in this Lëtzebuerger Journal interview during European Microfinance Week.
Project overview: Women’s World Banking partnered with Dutch Bangla Bank Limited (DBBL) in Bangladesh with generous support from the MetLife foundation to understand why women are not engaging with digital financial services. Specifically, we looked at DBBL’s Rocket mobile wallet account usage. This work with DBBL will not only help
SAN FRANCISCO — Facebook, together with 27 partners ranging from Visa to Mercy Corps, has unveiled a new global currency built on blockchain. The company has been working on Libra for more than a year, but it is distancing itself from directly managing the cryptocurrency. Facebook created Calibra, the digital wallet that will store
In order to better serve low-income women in Sub-Saharan Africa with financial products, Women’s World Banking and Financial Sector Deepening Africa (FSDA) partnered together to increase the capacity of leading financial institutions in Nigeria, Tanzania and Malawi.
We are excited to see what will happen when the most creative and innovative minds in financial services address the challenge of women’s financial inclusion.
In order to better serve low-income women in Sub-Saharan Africa with financial products, Women’s World Banking and Financial Sector Deepening Africa (FSDA) partnered together to increase the capacity of leading financial institutions in Nigeria, Tanzania and Malawi.
Women’s World Banking applied different approaches in Nigeria and Pakistan to increase both the acquisition of women customers as well as women’s engagement with digital financial services.
The Power of Partnership: A Corporate Collaboration to Advance Women’s Financial Inclusion in Pakistan
Women’s World Banking worked with Jazz to partner with Unilever’s women entrepreneur training program to leverage each companies core competencies to increase value for their products and drive financial inclusion for low-income women in Pakistan.
It’s as Easy as A-B-C! How A/B Testing Helped Onboard More Women Customers through Mobile Account Referrals
Using our women-centered design approach, we worked with ideas42 to figure out how to get more women to sign up for JazzCash mobile accounts through referrals.
What needs to happen in Bangladesh before digital financial services become the financial inclusion solution for women in the country?
A government opens a bank account for citizens receiving welfare payments. How can we turn recipients from “withdrawal-only” users to financially included?
Why blockchain can be a game changer for women’s financial inclusion, even in the village.
Digital financial services has, in just the past ten years, changed the landscape of financial inclusion. But has it done much for women?
Players, new and old, are beginning to recognize their critical and interconnected roles in advancing women’s financial inclusion.
Enabling regulation and competition in Mozambique’s digital finance market bodes well for financial inclusion. Women must be a part of that revolution.
Cathleen Tobin on why considering women’s financial inclusion is critical in the development of digital and crypto currencies.
How a payments giant, tech giant, “alternative” lending disruptor and “alternative” electricity provider use FinTech to serve the low-income market.
New regulation has inspired a renaissance for mobile money in Morocco. But competition is tight. How can a new player win in this market?
Women’s World Banking hosted a digital financial services workshop in Nigeria to facilitate peer learning among financial institutions leveraging digital technology to serve low-income women.
Women’s World Banking developed a profile of India’s low-income women to inform our approach designing inclusive digital financial services.
A roundtable on how those in the business of financial inclusion can and should proceed to ensure women are part of the digital future.
Agency banking is one of the most promising that can overcome women’s obstacles to financial access.
PRESS RELEASE | JazzCash and Women’s World Banking announce partnership to serve low-income women in Pakistan
JazzCash, Pakistan’s premiere financial services provider and global nonprofit Women’s World Banking announce a partnership to promote women’s financial inclusion across Pakistan. With funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the partners will work to increase low-income women’s adoption and use of digital financial services, particularly the JazzCash mobile account.
Our BETA Savings project with Diamond Bank (Nigeria) is highlighted in this CFR Women Around the World blog.
Our team applied user experience testing to optimize mobile banking services for low-income women in Nigeria.
Liz Kellison of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation reflects on visiting women clients in the Lagos markets during the launch event for Diamond Y’ello.
Our work on the paper “Digital Financial Solutions to Advance Women’s Economic Participation” was highlighted.
Watch this video on our work developing financial services built on digital technology.
The pilot assessment of the BETA Target Savers revealed the challenges of reaching women, even with the help of digital financial services.
Using data to inform policy, strategy and product design will enable financial inclusion stakeholders to more effectively serve women.
The promise of women’s financial inclusion through technology has not yet been fulfilled. Experts on why, and how we can fix it.
Technology has accelerated financial inclusion to exponential levels while undoing and remaking long-standing industries. A focus on women too, is at risk.
Women’s World Banking President and CEO Mary Ellen Iskenderian contributed to the latest edition of Innovations: Technology | Governance | Globalization Vol. 10 Issue 12.
Women’s World Banking, together with The World Bank, the UN-housed Better Than Cash Alliance and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation authored the report “Digital Financial Solutions to Advance Women’s Economic Participation” for the Turkish G20 Presidency.
Maintaining a bank account adds another level of complexity to managing your hard-earned cash, a complexity that people who are barely getting by have neither the time nor resources to address.
Women’s World Banking is cited for its work developing digital financial services tailored to the needs of low-income women.
Low-income women are diligent savers but often face tremendous barriers to saving safely with a bank. Digital savings can be a game-changing opportunity to introduce women to savings accounts and enable their financial inclusion.
Roundtable participants share their thoughts on the importance of giving low-income women access to financial services through digital savings and how this delivery channel addresses the specific needs of women.
This report outlines Women’s World Banking’s research into the landscape of digital savings for women and emerging best practice in the space.
Women’s World Banking, with support from UNCDF, worked with NBS Bank in Malawi to research, understand and design a digital financial product to increase access to financial services to low-income communities, particularly women, in rural areas.
Produced by Diamond Bank (2015)
Head of consumer business at NBS Bank (Malawi) shares his key takeaways from an agency banking training in Tanzania led by Women’s World Banking and Helix Institute.
Cathleen Tobin is cited in this article about financial inclusion in Nigeria.
Director of Product Development Cathleen Tobin discusses how Diamond Bank leveraged technology to reach the low-income market.
Our Pafupi mobile savings project in Malawi with NBS Bank and supported by UNCDF was highlighted on OECD Insights.
A dozen African government, finance and business leaders, including Nigeria’s Finance Minister, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, agreed surprisingly, earlier this week in Nairobi, that a partnership between women and mobile phones could be the next big thing for Africa’s growth story.
PRESS RELEASE | New savings account brings mobile financial access to rural women and communities in Malawi
Rural women in Malawi provide significant earning power within their families but so many of them have no access to a safe place to save their money. Through a new innovative mobile savings account, Malawi’s NBS Bank Ltd. is working with global nonprofit Women’s World Banking to bring banking to the doorsteps of local low-income communities and families.
New technology has “brought the bank” to millions of low-income women in a revolution that could help drive economic growth, according to an authority on women’s finance.
Mobile phone technology can help to bring financial services to the 80 percent of African women who do not have a bank account and bolster the growth of the world’s poorest continent.
Better than Cash Blog | In Learning Exchange with Kenya, Nigerian and Malawian Banks Focus on Reaching Women With Cashless Solutions
We guest posted on the Better than Cash Alliance blog about the agency banking learning tour we organized in Kenya for financial institutions we are working with.
Mobile money is gaining momentum in Tanzania. Would other financial services be able to catch up? Women’s World Banking visited Tanzania in October 2013 to conduct industry and customer research to understand what opportunities exist for mobile banking in Tanzania.
Women’s World Banking announced today that it has joined the Better Than Cash Alliance, committing to work with its 39 network members in 28 countries around the globe to ensure that at least one million low-income people shift to electronic money channels in the next five years.
In 2012, an estimated 64 percent of Nigerians were unbanked and had never accessed any formal financial services or products, a number that is higher for women: nearly 73 percent of all Nigerian women are unbanked. This number does not include figures for the underbanked—men and women who have had
Chief Product Development Officer Anna Gincherman was interviewed on Women’s World Banking’s youth savings work around the world.
The Post Nigeria featured the launch of BETA Savings, a project Women’s World Banking developed with Diamond Bank to provide easy savings accounts to low-income women in Nigeria.
Mobile banking: an answer to the unfriendly geography for women’s financial inclusion in the Pacific
Mountains, low lands, wetlands, coastal areas, rainforests, islands… Sounds like an entire continent, but that geography is actually just one country’s: Papua New Guinea. With geography like that, you can imagine, getting anywhere is a real challenge.
Indian Cooperative featured the introduction of financial literacy in SEWA Bank’s services.
Many participants in our research in Cairo described Facebook as the real reason behind the Revolution. Facebook is well known by both Egyptian men and women, with many accessing the site through their mobile phones.
Keynote Speech: Women’s World Banking and the Role of Innovation and New Technologies in Increasing Women’s and Girl’s, Economic Security
The World Jurist Association has the pleasure to invite you to join our members and other legal professionals from around the world at our DC 2012 conference! Law and Technology: Innovation in the Digital Age, to be held on April 22-24, 2012 in Washington, DC USA.
Microlumbia 5th Annual Microfinance Conference: “Redefining Microfinance: Driving Innovation in a Maturing Market”
Microlumbia Fund is a 501(c)3 organization run by Columbia Business School (CBS) students that provides growing microfinance institutions with pro-bono consulting services and debt capital while stimulating interest in the field among a new generation of future business leaders. Our mission is to help alleviate global poverty by providing the CBS community the means and opportunities to become lifelong contributors to the field of microfinance. For CBS students, we offer education, investment management and consulting opportunities.