While the debate surrounding equal pay for women continues to make headlines around the world, there are still over 1 billion women who have no access to any type of formal financial services. Correcting this type of discrimination against women is the foundation to fighting issues like the right to equal pay. Part of the issue of lack of access to basic financial services is the discrimination practiced in many regions of not allowing women control over their own finances and financial decisions. These include access to loans, credit, insurance and savings products offered by financial institutions. Digital finance and fintech companies, however, could be leading the charge to change this for women in some of the poorest regions in the world.
Fintech and Digital Finance Product for Marginalized Women
Digital finance simply means that people can transact and access financial services without having to interact with traditional financial institutions which, in rural and disadvantaged economic areas, are often literally out of reach for many women. While there are several fintech companies that make digital finance products available to women living in disadvantaged circumstances, there is still a way to go to roll out macro-solutions that will really lower the numbers of women with no access to economic and financial freedom.
Strategy and Implementation of Long-Term Digital Financial Service to Impoverished Women
One of the barriers to large-scale acceptance and use of digital finance by women is education. Fintech companies need to work with on-the-ground- development agencies and NGOs to educate women on how to effectively utilize digital financial products. The user experience needs to be simple and not require women to travel significant distances to have access to infrastructure. The increased adoption of digital financial services by women means an increase in financial autonomy, empowerment and authority within their households and wider communities.