Annual Summit 2021 – Day 2 Takeaways

Wednesday 27th October 2021

Day 2 of the Summit focused on designing gender-intelligent fintechs. Here are the key takeaways:

1. The size of the gender gap in fintech usage is large — and not closing it means leaving a lot of money on the table. The gender gap in fintech usage is 27.6 percent: 3 times the gender gap in access to formal banking and mobile money provider accounts. As we heard from Inez Murray and Consumer Centrix’s Shilpi Shastri during their deep dive into the Alliance’s new research, converting women through the sales funnel at the same rates as men could increase fintechs’ revenue by as much as 70 percent.

2. Capitalizing on this opportunity requires investors to develop a gender lens investment thesis that looks not only at the diversity of the founding teams but also at female representation in the customer base. As Sopnendu Mohanty, Chief Fintech Officer of the Monetary Authority of Singapore, spelled out in his Vision for Gender Intelligent Fintechs remarks: “I encourage fintech investors to consider a gender-lens investment thesis that goes beyond encouraging gender-balanced leadership, towards a gender-balanced customer base—and to give fintechs gender-specific goals and metrics to get there.”

3. Closing the gap requires gender-intelligent design at each stage of the fintech sales funnel. We heard from fintech entrepreneurs and investors across credit and lending, wealthtech, payments, and insurtech. “We look at how we can identify and mitigate bias—whether it’s in the people in the business or in the algorithms themselves… you can mitigate bias by design,” said Dan Roberts, Global Head of Business Banking at HSBC, during the Credit and Lending panel. Another speaker, Viola Llewellyn, President and Co-Founder of Ovamba Solutions, a credit and lending fintech in Africa and India, shared in the Wealthtech panel “Our risk models embed tribal data, culture and information about Africans the way we really are…if you build it inclusively, they will come.”  While in the Payments panel, we heard from Lakshmi Rajagopalan, Director of Global Network Delivery at Rapyd, about how the B2B fintech’s sales funnel is building around end-user behavior. “Where I have noticed is where our clients and partners pay attention to trust, education, and customer experience, they have better success onboarding and retaining women, which is a plus because women on the whole have higher life-time-value.”

The bottom line: By looking at KPIs disaggregated by sex at each stage of the sales funnel, asking the right questions, and fixing leakage points for women customers, fintechs and their investors will reap the rewards of serving the female economy.

To find out more watch more of the Day 2 panels and read the latest Alliance research Gender-Intelligent Fintech Design: How Fintechs Can Capture the Female Economy.