african woman

Operators could be missing out on a significant commercial opportunity if they do not provide tailored financial services for women.

This is according to a just released report by the GSM Association, which states that although women represent more than half of the total addressable mobile money market, and as a demographic cannot be ignored by the operators if the innovation is to reach critical mass.

According to the report, a number of factors make mobile money adoption less likely for women than their male counterparts, including low literacy levels and mobile phone ownership.

The need to not miss out on 50 percent of a growing market is already a compelling business case for providing financial services to women. But the report also goes on to note that via interviews with the operators, it has been discovered that women are more likely to be receivers than senders of money. They are often also the dominant financial managers for households.

Mobile money operators have tended to focus on the ‘active’ side of the transaction (the senders), and less on the ‘passive’ side of the transaction (the recipients), forgetting that recipients are just as important to a successful network.

Female business owners (who in many markets tend to constitute the larger percentage of SMEs) are also a promising market segment that some operators are targeting.

“To be successful, mobile money services must meet women’s unique financial needs”, the report said.

The ten page report can be found here.

Photo Credit: Rod Waddington via Compfight cc

Bankole Oluwafemi Author

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