The GSMA mWomen Program and Visa have just released a study on women and mobile money programs. The undertaking, according to Mobile Payments Today, was designed to assess the potential for mobile money adoption among women in the emerging markets of Indonesia, Kenya, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea and Tanzania.
The final report – “Unlocking the Potential: Women and Mobile Financial Services in Emerging Markets” – indicates that women in developing markets are “underserved by traditional financial tools.”
The report shows that more than 2 billion people lack access to basic financial services, the majority of whom are women. As a result, this segment represents a tremendous commercial opportunity for providers of mobile financial services.
“This research clearly demonstrates that women play a critical role in the success of mobile financial services deployment,” says Chris Locke, managing director of GSMA Mobile for Development. “It underscores the fact that services delivered via mobile phone can better meet women’s financial management needs than many of the informal tools they use today and, equally important, provides actionable guidance about how MFS providers can best expand and market their services to better address women’s requirements.”
Additionally, the data suggests that 75 percent of women in the aforementioned markets “contribute to household income.”
“This study has shown that low-income women undertake complex financial management for their households using a set of often sub-standard instruments,” adds Daryl Collins, a director at Bankable Frontier Associates, which helped facilitate the study. “Women often work with high-frequency, low-value cash flows, which indicates a good match between the services they need and the opportunity for the mobile financial services industry to broaden and stabilize their consumer base.”