ConsumerCentriX Contributes to Unlocking the Power and Potential of Women's Financial Inclusion Data

The female economy is the largest, fast-growing market representing a multi-trillion-dollar opportunity. However, despite significant progress made in expanding access to financial services, women remain unserved by the financial sector. Lack of quality sex-disaggregated data is a major barrier to women’s financial inclusion. Financial service providers (FSPs) and financial regulators are data-driven organizations but not always when it comes to collecting and using gender data.

ConsumerCentriX (CCX) conducted country-level sex-disaggregated supply-side data collection that contributed to the development of the “Gender Data for Financial Inclusion,” a report commission by the Women’s Financial Inclusion Data (WFID) Partnership that assessed the state of gender data and women’s financial inclusion in Bangladesh, Honduras, Kenya, Nigeria, Pakistan, and Turkey. The WFID Partnership is a coalition to improve the availability, production, and use of sex-disaggregated data to promote women’s financial inclusion.

CCX assessed data from their vast network of regulators, FSPS, and other key stakeholders in order to design, prioritize and manage interventions that address gaps in women’s financial inclusion. Mapping the ecosystem of financial services, identifying opportunities and building coalitions of national stakeholders is essential when driving action for women’s financial inclusion. The country research in the report provides a detailed mapping of the supply-side ecosystem helping to pinpoint the key stakeholders that are well-positioned to advance inclusive financial services for women using gender-disaggregated data.

Sex-disaggregated data is essential for driving solutions and policies that promote women’s financial inclusion.

– Anna Gincherman, Partner  at ConsumerCentriX

The research calculated the women’s market opportunity in each country in order to build the business case for the financial sector. The annual revenue opportunity for reaching unbanked or underserved women in the six countries is staggering and ranges from an estimated $352M USD in Kenya to $1,159M USD in Turkey. Even given the limitations in incomplete gender data sources, CCX calculations suggest that there is a strong potential for market revenue gains if FSPs were to maximize their women’s market opportunities ranging from 2 percent in Turkey to 25 percent in Honduras. And by increasing the availability of supply-side data, business case metrics could be further leveraged.


Sharing Our Learnings: You Can Only Monitor What You Measure

Findings from the research were shared at a webinar on June 14th hosted by WFID in partnership with The Alliance for Financial Inclusion (AFI), Data2X, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), the Financial Alliance for Women, the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the Women’s Entrepreneurs Finance Initiative (We-Fi), and the UN Capital Development Fund (UNCDF). The event celebrated the progress made in advancing women’s financial inclusion data in these six countries.

Speakers from the event included Antoinette Sayeh (Deputy Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund), Rebecca Ruf (EVP of Programs at Financial Alliance for Women), Elsie Addo Awadzi (Deputy Governor of Bank of Ghana), Tukiya Kankasa-Mabula (Former Deputy Governor of Bank of Zambia), Greta Bull (Director of Women’s Economic Empowerment at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation), and Inez Murray (CEO of the Financial Alliance for Women). The event was moderated by Mayra Buvinic (Senior Fellow of the United Nations Foundation with Data2X).

The panel discussions focused on country regulators and financial inclusion experts who have been taking bold steps forward when it comes to use of gender data. They have been working with FSPs to better understand the women’s market, drive revenue for businesses, and build more inclusive growth for society.

From a policy maker perspective, we have to understand who is being excluded and what services work differently for whom. We need sex-disaggregated data to answer these questions. There is no alternative.

– Mr. Md. Abul Bashar, Bangladesh Bank

Panel I included speakers from CCX collaborators:  Sophia Abu (Central Bank of Nigeria), Md. Abul Bashar (Bangladesh Bank), Alba Luz Valladares O’Connor (Comisión Nacional de Bancos y Seguros Honduras) moderated by Wendy Teleki (Head of We-Fi Secretariat at the World Bank).

The first panel highlighted the importance of collecting standardized data in order to build convincing evidence on the women’s market opportunity and design effective policies and products. Without regulated mechanics for data collection, standardization is very difficult. A productive first step towards collecting better metrics is updating the regulatory institution’s dashboards and templates in order to capture higher quality data to advance specific products that meet women’s needs. All three speakers highlighted the importance of the WFID partnership in supporting them to build the mechanisms to collect quality gender-disaggregated data.

There’s a lot of data that’s already being collected and submitted by the financial services providers – we’re working with them to develop a women’s financial inclusion dashboard alongside the WFID partnership to show the business case to serve the women’s segment—once they see its good business, there will be more products and services tailored for the women’s segment.

– Sophia Abu, Central Bank of Nigeria

Speakers from Panel II included Melsa Ararat (Corporate Governance Forum of Turkey), Tamara Cook (CEO of FSD Kenya) moderated by Rosita Najmi (Head of Global Social Innovation at Paypal).

Women are often perceived as not being profitable enough, which makes it difficult for FSPs to justify investments in women-centered products in specific markets. The second panel discussed how improving women’s financial inclusion will require engagement from not only the FSPs, but also across the private and public sectors, along with international organizations, donors, associations, and civil society. Going forward, we should focus on strengthening all stakeholders’ ability to collect, report, and use gender data to increase women’s access to and usage of financial services, while encouraging collaborative thinking and action on the intersecting issues.

Women’s financial inclusion should not just be focused on justifying the business profitability but should also be based on the notion that financial inclusion of women is a public good.

– Melsa Ararat, Corporate Governance Forum of Turkey

Building out quality supply-side and provider-level data on women is vital in order to advance women’s financial inclusion, as highlighted by Greta Bull in her closing remarks. Clarity around what is best to measure, helpful reporting mechanisms and essential changes to FSPs systems are all key in progressing access and usage of formal financial services for women. Ultimately, there is a strong business case for society to serve the women’s market and a need for more coordination and collaboration among all stakeholders in order to develop data driven women’s financial inclusion solutions.

Gender data is primordial to women’s financial inclusion; it shines a light, measures where we are, prompts us to do better, shows us how, builds accountability and potentially shames us into action.

– Inez Murray, CEO of Financial Alliance for Women 
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