Today 48.5% of India’s population is women. While Lakshmi is considered the Goddess of Wealth in India, it is paradoxical to note that women and wealth do not enjoy a close relationship.
As per LXME Women and Money Power Survey Report, 73% women save less than 20% of their income. A shocking 49% women are either not investing or are not aware of their investments.
A whopping 63% of women prioritised Family security and child's education as the primary drivers for investments over personal goals like self-security, retirement and starting their own business.
Only 2% of women save money for their retirement. 58% of women have no insurance -life or health. A shocking 92% of women do not access any financial platforms.
Hence the need for a unique Neo Banking Platform – a mobile-first digital platform integrating LendingTech, BankingTech, PaymentsTech and WealthTech, that can help address this Gap and Inequality, thereby empowering women to become financially independent.
Since ages, financial products have been traditionally designed keeping men in mind. Hence women penetration on most of the generic financial platforms is less than 10%.
Now It is time for innovative financial products for women such as digital savings accounts bundled with locker facility, preferential interest rates for home loan and gold loan, free insurance cover and health check-up and consultation by gynaecologists and mental health experts, family group accounts, doorstep banking facilities, etc.
Including women specific health insurance policies with in-built pregnancy cover, congenital disability cover, breast and ovarian cancer cover, etc. Other examples are women special debit cards with features like roadside assistance, expense tracking and discounts on shopping, dining, travel, etc. special current accounts for women entrepreneurs, etc
It's important to offer holistic product solutions that help address not just their financial needs but also their emotional preferences.
“I dream of a Digital India where mobile and e-banking ensures financial inclusion,” says PM Narendra Modi.
As per World Bank’s Global Findex Data for measuring global financial inclusion, released on 29th June 2022, India is among seven countries home to half the world’s 1.4 billion adults without access to formal banking. The survey also found that women are more likely to be unbanked than men.
Financial inclusion is not just about owning a bank account; it is about saving regularly for future goals, borrowing for personal or business needs, accessing payments or remittances when required. In that sense, a lot needs to be done to achieve financial inclusion for women in its true letter and spirit. Hence tech platforms offering micro-savings, micro-insurance, micro-deposits, micro-loans etc at low cost and speed are most crucial.
Melinda Gates, Co-chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, says, ‘When the government deposits social welfare payments or other subsidies directly into women’s digital bank accounts, the impact is amazing. Women gain decision-making power in their homes and with more financial tools at their disposal they invest in their families’ prosperity and help drive broad economic growth.’
Dr. Jasmin B Gupta is a Co-founder and the CEO at LXME.