Partners in

Global Champions for Women’s
Financial Inclusion

Network Expansion

During 2019, Women’s World Banking added 16 new and diverse partners to our Network. We focused on expanding in Egypt, Nigeria, and Zambia thanks to funding from the German Development Cooperation (GIZ). The Visa Foundation also provided generous funding for expanding the Network globally.

Network Member Day Singapore

Before the 2019 Network Member Day in Singapore, the team surveyed the Network to understand each institution’s most important challenge to better serve the women’s market. It plans to expand on compact solutions, such as design workshops and an online gender assessment, to new potential Network members.

She Counts Singapore Workshop

Building on our solid 2018 platform, Women’s World Banking expanded the number of organizations in the She Counts community and broadened its efforts to focus on effective practices in product bundling that drive savings. The thesis is that bundled solutions designed for women drive savings because customers, especially women, need a suite of financial services, which if effectively bundled, actually adds to the use case for savings and improves the value proposition of the entire offering.

Solutions for Women Customers
(Advisory Services)

In 2019, Women’s World Banking engaged with ten partners in seven countries on 13 active solutions and research projects, directly reaching 366,000 women clients. We launched pilots for seven solutions from Egypt to Nigeria successfully embedding our women-centered design methodology to effectively serve both our women customer and the FSPs we work with.


Driving Engagement with Savings Among Low-Income Women with Ujjivan Small Finance Bank

When the Reserve Bank of India initiated a new special category of banks to support financial inclusion in 2015, Ujjivan saw an opportunity to transition from a microfinance institution to a Small Finance Bank. Working with Women’s World Banking, Ujjivan mobilized high volume deposits that could enable a lower cost to capital and offer more advanced banking products to become a universal banking solution for its 4 million customer base.

Ujjivan Savings solution was successful in reducing Customer Relationship Officer (CRO) inactivity and improving CRO deposit “productivity.”

Driving Recurring Savings
Behavior Among Low-Income
Women with Bank of Baroda

Women’s World Banking is working with Bank of Baroda (BoB), India’s second largest public sector bank (PSB), to design a savings solution that is scalable and replicable across multiple geographies. Women own over half of the bank’s Prime Minister’s Jan Dhan Yojana (PMJDY) accounts. However, they transact 44% less than men do, and their deposits are 35% lower. Solutions aim to support women to increase their balances, actively use their accounts, and to support BoB to eventually cross-sell other products, such as reoccurring deposits and insurance.

Launched in November 2019 across 17 branches in three target cities of Delhi, Mumbai, and Chennai.

A 20-person call center was set up to support customers in locating their nearest business correspondent (BC) or BC point.

Branch champions were appointed at 17 branches to support customers and 53 BCs were trained to pitch the small savings initiative in the communities.

Based on feedback, the bank then extended to a total of 101 branches in 2020.


Increasing Usage of Mobile Financial Services (MFS) by Low-Income Women with Dutch Bangla Bank in Bangladesh

There is a large gap in access to financial services for women in Bangladesh. Only 34% of adults and 29% of women use formal financial services. Women’s World Banking is working with Dutch Bangla Bank (DBBL) to rollout a solution that will bring the most value to low-income salaried women, DBBL, and the mobile financial services (MFS) market in general.

At DBBL, learning-by-doing capacity building approach increased likelihood of women doing a transaction by 76%.


Expanding Quality Financial Products and Services for Women Entrepreneurs with Lead Foundation

As a long-standing network member with 18 branches in and around the Greater Cairo area, Lead Foundation (Lead) had goals to deepen the financial inclusion of underserved low-income women in Egypt by designing a strategy for the expansion of their branches and building their digital operations, as well as designing an enhanced women-centered credit solution. With the support of Women’s World Banking research, by the end of 2019, five additional branches opened disbursing individual and group loans.


Increasing Access to Credit for Women Entrepreneurs Through FinTech with OneFi (Carbon)

Women’s World Banking is working with OneFi, a credit and payments platform in Nigeria with a mission to advance access to finance to the unbanked and under-banked in the country, along with Unilever (through its Shakti program) to increase women’s access to credit. Using a mobile app called Carbon, OneFi currently offers digital lending services to consumers and has extended these credit offerings to MSMEs.

Nigeria’s informal economy is largely cash-based, accounting for roughly 60% of the entire economy, approximately $240 billion.

Caregiver Health Microinsurance Replication

In the last 10 years, Women’s World Banking has worked directly with financial institutions to help them develop and deliver Caregiver, a health insurance solution that is simple, affordable, and relevant for the needs of low-income clients, especially women. Thanks to funding from the Swiss Re Foundation, Women’s World Banking has begun exploring a social venture in which the Caregiver product would be scaled more systematically. Women’s World Banking is scheduled to launch three Caregiver replications in 2020.

Responding to Covid-19

Deepened Interactions with the Network

The impact of the Covid-19 outbreak on the global economy is not yet fully realized, as government responses to curtail the spread of the virus feed into the global economy. Based on past global health crises, we do know that low-income women are among those most adversely affected by economic shocks, whatever their cause. We reached out to financial services providers to gauge their initial reactions to the pandemic.