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

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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agribusiness sector.

Stanbic Bank Uganda is helping to reduce the financing gap in the agribusiness sector.

ConsumerCentriX works closely with Stanbic Bank Uganda on both the COVID-19 Business Info Hub and the Stanbic Business Incubator. This article originally appeared on the COVID-19 Business Info Hub.

Melisa Nyakwera, Head Agribusiness at Stanbic Bank Uganda, spoke with the COVID-19 Business Info Hub on the banks’ initiatives to reduce the financing gaps for smallholder farmers and agribusinesses. 

Stanbic Bank Uganda’s initiatives to reduce the financing gap in the agribusiness sector

Stanbic Bank Uganda has the following initiatives to facilitate access to finance for the sector:

  • The bank uses the One Farm platform to profile farmers and agribusinesses. We understand their needs and provide solutions such as input financing, agronomy training, insurance, and information on markets.
  • Stanbic Bank Uganda is increasing access to affordable finance to the farmers through their SACCOs and farmer groups by lending to the SACCOs and farmer groups at a subsidized interest rate.
  • The bank provides several financial products to the sector, including short-term and long-term loans, invoice discounting, stock financing, and asset financing.
  • Using the Flexi pay wallet, clients receive and pay for services or commodities from one wallet to another at no charge.

Keep in mind that agribusinesses need to have in place good business records, plans and a clear strategy to access financing during these challenging times.

For more information call: 0800250250 or WhatsApp: 0770588623

What is the role of Stanbic Bank Uganda in the agribusiness sector?

Stanbic Bank Uganda’s agribusiness segment works with all customers within the agriculture space. We look at the value chain from input suppliers, smallholder farmers, aggregators, and processors. We also engage with non-government organizations (NGOs), development institutions and ministry agencies working together to make a difference. Our role is running through that whole value chain to understand the needs of different actors and develop solutions to meet the requirements. We ensure that the solutions help them achieve their needs, and in case they require long term support, we work and walk with them along that journey.

 

How is the bank facilitating access to finance for the agribusiness sector? 

The bank has several initiatives in place to facilitate access to finance for the agribusiness sector.

First, we’ve got a new initiative called the One Farm platform. Here, we partner with Agri-techs, who collect data from farmers and agribusinesses, analyze it to understand their requirements and provide solutions through the platform. Some of the services offered include input financing, agronomy training, insurance and information on markets. This initiative has helped to improve financial inclusion for several actors in the agribusiness value chain.

The bank has come together with several funding partners to provide affordable loans to Savings Credit and Cooperative Societies (SACCOs) and farmer groups.  SACCOs receiving these funds can offer affordable loans to their members as well. We are also helping the SACCOs and farmer groups digitize records for a faster lending process.  Funding partners include Agricultural Business Initiative (aBi), International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD).

The third initiative is through the bank’s conventional offerings, which cut across the different value chain players from actual farmers, input providers to processors. Essentially, we have short-term and long-term loans, invoice discounting, stock financing, and versatile asset financing. We also have the Flexi pay wallet that enables users to receive and pay for services and commodities from one electronic wallet to another at no charge.

 

What can SMEs do to overcome disruptions resulting from the pandemic effects?

We all understand the impact of the pandemic, and we need to protect ourselves and keep safe. It means we have to go into the digital marketplace. Embracing digital tools will keep you safe and enable you to reach more customers than opting for face to face interactions.

Suppose businesses want to last and withstand the pandemic effects. In this case, they need good business plans, financial records and a strategy to follow through during this period. It will ease access to financing that they can use for operations to adapt to the current and future changes.

Financial institutions also need to play more in this space by supporting SMEs prepare the necessary records and plans to access the financing required.

 

For more information and access to Stanbic Bank’s Agri-banking Team;

Call: 0800250250

WhatsApp: 0770588623

Website: www.stanbic.co.ug

Visit any of our over 60 branches countrywide!