Women are less likely than men to use mobile money services, GSMA has stated.
According to the global body of telecommunication firms, the reason for this includes not owning a mobile phone, not being aware of mobile money, not perceiving the relevance of mobile money, and having low literacy and digital and financial skills.
In its ‘The State of the Industry Report on Mobile Money (2023)’, it said, “The gender gap in mobile money account ownership and usage is a missed opportunity for both women and MMPs.
“Women who use mobile money can become more financially included, economically independent and play a stronger role as financial decision-makers. In turn, this can have a positive impact on their communities and the broader economy.”
GSMA noted that data from its 2022 consumer survey showed that mobile money had a positive effect on women’s lives. It stated that across most of the nine countries surveyed, which included Nigeria, more than half of female mobile money users reported that mobile money helped them better manage their finances and everyday affairs, such as shopping and paying bills.
It highlighted that in the countries surveyed, most female users reported that mobile money helped them save time.
According to GSMA, 18 per cent of males with mobile phones owned mobile money accounts while only nine per cent of females with mobile phones owned mobile money accounts. The association explained, “In most countries, lower mobile ownership among women still contributes to the mobile money gender gap, including in more mature markets where mobile money awareness is near-universal.
“Mobile money awareness is much lower for women than men in some markets, such as Bangladesh, Ethiopia, India, and Nigeria, and is an important barrier to be overcome. When women are aware of mobile money, barriers other than the lack of a mobile phone have created a relatively wide gender gap in mobile money account ownership (except in Kenya).”
GSMA noted that once women have a mobile money account, they have similar usage levels as men on a 30-day basis.
According to the association, the gender gap in mobile money account ownership widened in Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Nigeria, and Pakistan over the past year primarily due to mobile ownership among men growing at a faster pace than women.
GSMA stated that the gender gap in mobile money accounts was higher in rural areas.
It added, “The gender gap in mobile money account ownership tends to be higher among certain demographics.
“For instance, in eight of the nine countries surveyed, the gender gap in mobile money account ownership is greater among those living in rural areas. Men, and especially women, who live in rural areas tend to experience the barriers to mobile money account ownership more acutely than their urban counterparts, including lower awareness, lack of a mobile phone, lower digital skills, and more restrictive social norms.”