Reaching Half of the Market: Women and Mobile Money

Providing guidelines to help build women’s confidence and trust in mobile money services

This paper addresses barriers that prevent women from accessing and using mobile money, and highlights some of the key tactics that mobile money providers can use to increase its penetration amongst women. It claims that to reach scale and impact in their operations, mobile money operators cannot ignore women, who make up half of the potential customer base. The research for the paper is based on semi-guided interviews with ten operators that had reported high levels of penetration of their mobile money service amongst women in emerging markets or had implemented successful strategies to drive uptake and usage among women. The paper covers the following sections in detail:

  • Need for and opportunity involved in reaching women with mobile financial services;
  • Barriers to women adopting mobile money with a focus on low literacy and education levels, lack of easy access to mobile money agents, identification documents, and confidence, and low levels of mobile phone ownership;
  • Tactics to increase mobile money penetration amongst women including featuring women in marketing campaigns, having a helpful and trusted agent network, and enhancing financial education.

About this Publication

By Scharwatt, C.P. & Minischetti, E.