2014 Summit Spotlight

Monday 13th October 2014

GBA Newsletter

The 2014 Summit was the largest to date with more than 200 attendees, including delegates from 34 banks, 5 Development Finance Institutions as well as regulators from 3 Latin countries. The event was hosted by the Inter-American Development Bank.

The content was framed around the 4 myths that prevent bank leaders from capturing the Women’s Market, uncovered by the GBA’s study on “How Banks Can Profit from the Multi-Trillion Dollar Female Economy,” which was conducted with the support of McKinsey & Company.

  • Myth 1: Male and female customers are the same.
  • Myth 2: All banks need is “feminized” products.
  • Myth 3: There is no business case for serving women.
  • Myth 4: There is no data on gender.

Below are some of the key counterpoints shared during the 2014 Summit. For full overviews of each panel, speaker presentations (available to members only), photos, videos and other materials from the event, visit the GBA website.

  • The business case for serving the Women’s Market is strong:
    • It is a large and untapped market with a strong customer base (more loyal, greater products per customer, higher advocacy, lower NPLs, higher relative savings).
    • Being first and getting it right gives a bank significant first-mover advantage.
    • Serving women customers and having a diverse staff, management and board improves corporate resilience.
    • Gender lens investing is an emerging and growing asset class.
  • In order to prove the business case internally, banks are collecting and disaggregating customer performance data by sex. Banks with strong Women’s Markets Programs showcased strong business results.
  • In order to build the business case globally, GBA has collected data from 16 of its members so far, with 15 more committed to providing it.
  • When aggregated, this data not only makes a persuasive case to other banks to take on the Women’s Market, but helps policy makers design effective ecosystems to support women as economic actors.
  • While women own 38% of SMEs in emerging markets, two types of women-owned businesses remain largely un-served: small, informal businesses that fall in between microfinance and traditional SME lending — the so-called “missing middle” — and fast-growth women-owned businesses (just 15% of Venture Capital goes to women-owned businesses).
  • Innovations to target the missing middle range from widening the types of collateral accepted to include moveable assets, to deepening the underwriting capability through cash-flow analysis and use of psychometric testing, to working with MSMEs’ suppliers to understand purchasing and repayment histories in order to offer credit cards and establish credit histories.

  • Accelerators and angel networks are proving successful in supporting women to access smart capital. While there are not enough of them, momentum is gathering around providing what is needed for high-growth women entrepreneurs to succeed.
  • All women require networking — whether they are entrepreneurs, professionals, high-net-worth or CFOs of households. Providing networking opportunities and integrating learning components around financial and business capability building is core to an effective Women’s Market Program.
  • Women pay it forward: The majority who are mentored go on to mentor other women.
  • Confidence is the most important determinant of business success. Confidence is built through access to mentors, support networks, information and education.
  • Creating communities of customers — getting people who are for something to do things that they are for — is at the heart of community building.
  • Engaged customer communities can build a bank’s brand.
  • There are many effective ways to offer value to women business owners, including having front-line staff become “certified” SME experts, providing a portal that enables customers to access useful tools, showcasing success through competitions, and linking women to other sources of information and market opportunities.
  • For banks with programs that are successfully embedded, it is the impact on the bottom-line that keeps it in place. Sizing the opportunity is vital from the onset. When conducting a feasibility study, start with a high-level, top-down strategy first, and as the Customer Value Proposition is developed, iterate it.
  • When launching a program, getting an early win is important.
  • Ultimately, success comes down to leadership.