This panel focused on how digital technology can enhance access to finance, particularly for women. At the start of the session, the audience was polled to find that around half of the banks have digital platforms for customers. Opportunities are vast, with increasing digital services for small businesses in particular. Two examples included a platform that uses mobile phone data in place of traditional credit criteria to allow users without formal documentation to obtain loans, as well as a program that provides credit servicing for small loans – completely digitally.
- McKinsey exhibited how digital solutions are enhancing banking – and can improve the value proposition for women – through connecting, innovating, automating and decisioning.
- Digital solutions help automate banking, as they reduce the cost to serve and can reach customers where they are, not requiring them to come into branches.
- Digital solutions also provide support for decision making, both on the customer side and the financial services side. For customers, these solutions can point out the products they should buy to fit their needs. On the bank side, they can provide alternative data analytics for credit scoring that support more accurate credit decisions. This is a large opportunity to bank more women, who are still often excluded based on the traditional credit process.
- Digital banking promotes innovation, as it inspires new business models, disruptive technologies and product development. It allows companies to get closer to the customer than ever before.
- Online and automated platforms for banks such as that provided by AMP Credit Technologies often address issues that are unique to women’s access to finance.
- Tala uses technology to obtain a credit score using no formal financial documentation, which allows individuals who do not meet traditional requirements for credit to enter the system and have access to finance. To date they have provided more than $600 million in loans, with 92 percent repayment, and 95 percent for those taking a loan again. More than 40 percent of their customers are women, and women outperform men in their bottom line.
- The Women Entrepreneurs program at Garanti is 10 years old. When they started, women represented 4.5 percent of entrepreneurs in Turkey. Now women represent 8 percent. (The OECD average is 24 percent).The bank supports women entrepreneurs with education, networking, finance, encouragement and access to new markets.
- Currently, 93 percent of transactions across the bank are digital, but female percentage is only 27 percent (women represent 35 percent of the total customer base).
- There is great opportunity for digital enhancements to support small retail and service such as “mom and pop shops.”
- The World Economic Forum notes that there is $19 trillion in cash business for small businesses, which presents huge opportunity for payment acceptance technology, cash management and loyalty programs – all with a gender lens used in design.
- There are developments at the global level in this sector, as the G20 has published High-Level Principles for Digital Financial Inclusion.