Women and the Mobile Handset in APMEANitin Sumangali |
One of the key findings of MasterCard’s Mobile Payments Readiness Index is that it remains early days for mobile payments around the world. However, in examining the consumer research, it emerges that not only were certain countries more ready, certain segments are more ready than others for mobile payments.
For the majority of the 34 countries surveyed, men were more ready than women to use mobile payments. However, there were three markets where women edged ahead: China, the Philippines and Egypt. These differences could impact on how mobile payments are marketed and presented as part of the roll out in these markets.
In addition, the higher readiness among women has implications for broader financial inclusion in these markets. According to the World Bank Global Findex study, globally women trail men in terms of having an account with a financial institution. Governments around the world have an interest in promoting broader access to financial services—it allows lower-income people to plan and smooth out expenditures, provides safer access to borrowed funds and to invest in critical things like education—all key factors in breaking cycles of poverty.
The higher readiness for mobile payments among women in China, the Philippines, and Egypt could provide the link between women and banking. Using the mobile handset as the basis for financial inclusion solves many of the distribution problems that banks have with serving large, geographically dispersed populations in rural areas, and the higher readiness for mobile payments among women in these markets makes them prime candidates for mobile banking. The handset, connecting to mobile networks, becomes a point of contact stitching the far flung elements of a country together. While China and Egypt conform to the global trend (fewer women than men in those markets have formal financial accounts), the Philippines is an exception to the rule. This makes the Philippines a unique market and one where banks, mobile networks, and payment companies can work together to target women as the entrance point for expanding banking and payments capabilities.
Source: World Bank Global Findex
Developing mobile banking services will benefit future mobile payments adoption by proving the value of convenience, but mobile payments will also have the benefit of increasing financial inclusion. For the next generation of payments to evolve and truly reshape commerce , innovation must both improve current methods of payment and bring more consumers into the fold. In Egypt and China, the twin mission is to expand access to financial system for women and to place them at the forefront of efforts to grow and improve mobile payments adoption. For markets like the Philippines, where women are more likely to have bank accounts, they provide a natural starting point for wider adoption of mobile payments.
Topics: Payments Strategy