Our Network of Female Economy-Focused Fintechs is Growing

Thursday 17th November 2022

Our 2020 research into the fintech sector in 2020 found that many fintechs have yet to take full advantage of the $216 trillion opportunity that the female economy represents. Indeed, the research found that fintechs could see up to a 70-percent increase in revenues by increasing their female customer conversion rates to levels equal to male conversion rates across the sales funnel.

During Day 2 of the Annual Summit, we heard from three incredible fintechs that are female-founded or female economy-focused, all Alliance members. They shared common recommendations for cultivating relationships with women customers:

  1. Build trust with women customers by establishing communities of women before offering any financial services, like Mahila Money and LXME have done.
  2. Combine human touch with technology, like Tyme’s model of pairing in-person ambassadors with self-service digital banking kiosks, detailed in our Case Study.
  3. Integrate financial and business education, including peer advice and learning, and supporting WSMEs to sell online.
  4. Design financial products that reflect a deep understanding of women’s needs and financial behaviors, such as LXME’s education planning calculator and optimized portfolio offering to enable members to send their children to secondary school.
  5. Enable access to finance using alternative data, as Mahila Money has done by underwriting loans with data from members’ retail spending and their geographic location.
  6. Reward behavior to increase product usage, e.g., TymeBank’s Smart Shopper rewards points at grocery and retail stores.

All three of these organizations participated in past Alliance Hacks. Tyme won the first-ever Alliance Hack in 2020. LXME won the Hack in 2021, when Mahila Money was the runner-up.

This year’s five Hack finalists pitched live at the Summit, sharing impressive solutions to the challenges put forth: supporting informal and formal WSMEs with access to finance; supporting capability building through access to non-financial services; enhancing investment opportunities for women in the mass market; and building women entrepreneurs’ access to trade and supply chains.

Tribe Fintech emerged as the winner for its “ecosystem-in-a-box” platform, which provides non-financial services, including networking communities, education, e-commerce solutions, and more, to SMEs—particularly WSMEs. The Alliance inspired the idea, as founder Mo Harvey told us: “I read your report and thought, ‘there’s a scalable business idea here,’ but I didn’t know what that meant. Cut to reconnecting with the wonderful Rachel Freeman [Chief Growth Office of Tyme], and suddenly I had a partner-in-crime who had the same mission as me and a clear sense of the platform we needed to build to serve WSMEs.”

Each year, our Hackathon is attracting more and better fintechs. Through this, our Fintech Fridays and our fintech research, we are building a powerful network of ecosystem stakeholders and establishing a critical mass of female economy-focused fintechs. We look forward to scaling our hackathon and enabling more of our bank members to offer fintechs POC opportunities, as well as influencing fintech investors to support female founders and female economy focused fintechs.