• July 12th, 2020

OPINION: What does financial inclusion mean for women today?

Alna Booysen 

International Women’s Day gives us the opportunity to reflect on the progress we have made in terms of banking innovation towards financial inclusion for women.

We know that most adults worldwide have bank accounts. Much of that growth was driven by an increase in account ownership in developing countries due to the spread of mobile banking, which has seen huge increases in adoption. In some sub-Saharan African countries, more adults have mobile bank accounts than traditional ones. While this is good news, only 58% of women worldwide had bank accounts compared to 65% of men according to research done by the World Bank. 

Redefining financial inclusion for women In recent years, studies show that when a woman controls her own finances, she invests in the health, nutrition, and education of her family - investments that drive inter-generational change with a ripple effect in her community. At the macro level, expanding financial inclusion for women has a profound impact on overall economic growth and community development globally. It is evident that to achieve full financial wellbeing today, women need financial solutions that go far beyond loans, including transactional capability, savings, wealth creation and optimization, as well as protection products in the event of an unforeseen event.

Digital savings as a game-changer
For women, and low-income women in particular, savings accounts can be a game-changer by allowing them to build more financial security for themselves and their families, to grow their businesses, and to cope with emergencies. However, women often face barriers to accessing a safe place to save due to mobility and time constraints. 

Digital banking can make it easier for women to save or transact. This is important as women are much more likely to work in the informal economy and receive payments in cash. Women are also more likely to invest their money in their family’s wellbeing. All these factors increase financial stability, which empowers women to craft paths that lead to better health, education and economic outcomes for communities and societies ultimately.

Using the FNB App is now even more accessible for women operating in the informal sector with the FNB App being zero rated. This means, that customers will do need data or credit to do their banking on their phone via the FNB App. All our customers can download the FNB App in our participating branches using the free WIFI available, and use it from then onwards, anywhere, anytime.

Digital banking is a great option for women because it allows for financial inclusivity across the board. Not only is banking online, with our FNB App or via cellphone banking cheaper than traditional channels, but it also makes our lives as women much easier and more convenient. The FNB App is safe and secure, you can make use of Finger print ID to login and get Smart In-Contact to approve all Online Banking transactions. 

Filling the gap with insurance
Daily, women are at risk of having their handbag stolen and being without insurance cover for their valuables, leaving them just as vulnerable as the windows that are broken through. OUT and About cover from OUTsurance allows you to insure the small personal possessions you take out of your house, so that no matter where you are, the things you keep closest to you are covered.

It might surprise you to realise how valuable the items in your handbag actually are! Any given handbag might contain a smartphone or two, a pair of glasses, a make-up bag, a perfume bottle and perhaps even a few pieces of jewellery, which could cost thousands of dollars to replace. Women tend to prioritise insurance cover for the big things; the house and the car and forget to factor in cover for smaller but equally vulnerable items most valuable to us as women. What you probably don’t know is that insurance for these items isn’t going to cost an arm and a leg and is simple to add to your existing insurance policy without breaking the bank.

Staff Reporter
2020-03-11 08:45:23 | 4 months ago

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