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We All Win When She Saves
May 21, 2018
By Women’s World Banking
Unbanked women make up an untapped market of nearly one billion. Research has shown that women are natural savers but because they lack access to savings and financial tools, they are pressured to provide their income to family members rather than saving or investing it themselves.
Recognizing this gap in the market, like-minded organizations ExxonMobil, the Center for Global Development, TechnoServe, Vodacom and Mercy Corps launched an innovative pilot program to provide mobile saving accounts and business training to more than 5,000 entrepreneurs in Indonesia and Tanzania. The learnings in this program resulted in the launch of SheCounts earlier this year, a global platform powered by Women’s World Banking, the Center for Global Development and ExxonMobil to harness the power of the public and private sector to put new financial tools in the hands of women around the world.
In order to bring the opportunity of serving more low-income with digital savings to a broader audience, Women’s World Banking hosted a Twitter chat on Wednesday, May 16: We All Win When She Saves #SheCountsChat. We heard from three organizations about how they’re helping women build a better future through digital savings while creating a more sustainable business.
Why Savings Matters for Women
A1: Financial services increase a woman's ability to make decisions in the best interests of herself, her children. Access to quality & affordable financial services are also imperative conditions towards fostering greater women’s economic empowerment #SDG5 #SheCountsChat #gender— AFI (@NewsAFI) May 16, 2018
What We Know About Women
A2.1: That #women prefer to #save! Our studies have shown that across countries, 63% of women (in comparison to 26% of men), are likely to open a basic #savings account if offered. #SheCountsChat pic.twitter.com/jOJrVl9Xh2— CGD (@CGDev) May 16, 2018
A2.3: However, though #women prefer to save, their access to #financial services lags behind men's: the global gender gap in account ownership is 7% points. In developing countries it’s 9% points. #SheCountsChat— CGD (@CGDev) May 16, 2018
Q3..Women are more difficult to convince to open account. But when they do, they are more consistent savers than the men who are easier to convince and willing to take risks. #SheCountsChat— Diamond Bank (@DiamondBankNG) May 16, 2018
The Promise of Digital Technology
Research and Product Design Must be Women-Centered
Q4...Women remain a largely untapped market because financial products are not designed to meet their needs. It is therefore vital to listen to women and take their specific concerns to design digital savings. #SheCountsChat— Diamond Bank (@DiamondBankNG) May 16, 2018
A7..Using human entered designs to keep products customer focused and providing financial literacy programs in local dialects to improve communication adoption. #SheCountsChat— Diamond Bank (@DiamondBankNG) May 16, 2018
A6.8 To recap: 1. Clear objectives & targets in #NFIS by policymakers 2. Reforms to legal & regulatory frameworks 3. Female representation within DFS agent networks 4. Enhanced #FinEd & literacy programs 5. Institutional gender diversity #SheCountsChat https://t.co/sdZlWpoasX— AFI (@NewsAFI) May 16, 2018
A8: By working together closely in understanding the female market segment, developing internal capacity & supporting culture change to effectively serve women clients #SheCountsChat https://t.co/3wMU7Phh0N— AFI (@NewsAFI) May 16, 2018
It’s All About Gender-Disaggregated Data
A7.1: #Digital savings is a relatively new product for #women. In order to figure out “what works,” #financial service providers must rigorously collect data on their clients and sex-disaggregate them. #SheCountsChat— CGD (@CGDev) May 16, 2018
A7.3: Better #gender data reveal implicit biases & discrimination + help improve products for #women. IT'S A TRIPLE WIN: providing institutions w/ more clients, women w/ a safer place for their #money, + gov’t w/ stronger #economies. #SheCountsChat pic.twitter.com/mbQb7qoss0— CGD (@CGDev) May 16, 2018
A7..2 Mining and tracking appropriate data empowers financial service providers with the information they need to know how well they’re serving women, to make a business case for serving women, to make strategic decisions and to monitor performance over time.#SheCountsChat— Diamond Bank (@DiamondBankNG) May 16, 2018
Q5...Track and mine the right data which should be used to obtain a better understanding of risks in product portfolio, customer segmentation and product customization. #SheCountsChat— Diamond Bank (@DiamondBankNG) May 16, 2018
What’s Next for Women’s Digital Savings
How #digital #finserv can be designed to create "soft" commitment features, such as a safe space to save, which has shown to be effective in increasing women’s savings. Read more https://t.co/4CIfMLlURd #SheCountsChat #financialincluson https://t.co/Oq44AuXYq8— cenfri (@cenfri_org) May 16, 2018
What’s next for SheCounts?
She Counts welcomes institutions that demonstrate criteria of a well-designed saving solution that enables women to overcome barriers in accessing and using savings products, such as doorstep banking, agent training, and marketing geared towards women’s pain points. Members are also required to provide gender-disaggregated data to track reach and women’s financial behavior.
If you are interested in joining:
She Counts works with financial services providers to put savings and financial tools in the hands of women, enabling them to save securely, invest in their business and transform their lives. More on SheCounts.com.