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Promoting Inclusive Markets and Financial Systems

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How to Map the Gender Gap in Digital Financial Services Using a Gendered Customer Journey Approach

You are invited to register for the training session hosted by GSMA, How to Map the Gender Gap in Digital Financial Services Using a Gendered Customer Journey Approach, at the 2017 WEE Global Learning Forum.

This blog is published as part of the 2017 WEE Global Learning Forum Blog Series.


Over the last few years, digital financial services have spread at an impressive rate, and potentially playing a major role in expanding financial access to vulnerable populations. This is particularly true for mobile money services that, capitalizing on the widespread reach of mobile phones, are now available in 92 countries and catering to over 500 million accounts. The potential of mobile money to advance financial inclusion was documented in a recent study from Kenya. The study found that access to mobile money services increased daily per capita consumption levels for 194,000, or 2% of Kenyan households, significantly contributing towards lifting them out of extreme poverty. The positive effect of mobile money was particularly strong for women, as consumption in female-headed households increased twice as much as male-headed households. However, in this financial inclusion revolution via mobile money, women continue to be left behind – data from the Global Findex 2014 shows that women in low- and middle- income countries are 36% less likely than men to use mobile money, and this gap widens in certain regions and countries.

While there is valuable data on the issue, further research is needed to identify the bottlenecks to women’s adoption and usage of mobile money and why they exist. For this reason, the GSMA developed a framework for the analysis of the mobile money customer journey with a gender lens that can help understand the differences in mobile money adoption and usage between men and women and to identify where women and men are dropping off in the customer journey from registration to active use.

Learning at #WEEForum2017

During our interactive session at the WEE Forum by the SEEP Network “Mapping the gender gap in digital financial services using a gendered customer journey approach” we will walk you through our methodology for the analysis of transactional data with a gender lens to understand how women are using mobile financial services and where they are dropping off in the customer journey from registration to trial and use. We will also share the key findings of our research on women’s adoption and use of mobile money, which investigates the reasons why women are not adopting and using mobile money at the same rate as men, and provide actionable recommendations to stakeholders who wish to reduce the mobile money gender gap.

Click here to register now, or simply add to your WEE Forum Agenda if you’re already registered.

3 steps to the analysis

1. Segmenting your customers

Segmenting your customers not only by gender but also by demographic profiles and usage patterns will help you identify priority customer segments where there are opportunities for growing the subscriber base, and to create a baseline and a target for reducing the gender gap. Valuable demographic data for segmenting your customers includes gender, age groups and location of your customers. An example of potential demographic profiles which can be used for the segmentation is provided below although you should use the segments which are most applicable in your context. You can also segment by usage patterns such as type of transaction, average number of monthly transactions, volume and value of transactions and number of parties that users interact with.

2. Mapping your segmented customer along the mobile money customer journey

Taking a gendered approach to the traditional mobile money customer journey from registration to more advanced use, will help you identify stages at which women tend to drop off more often than men. This will, in turn, help pinpoint where to focus efforts to assist in reducing the gender gap. An example of the mobile money customer journey showing this is provided below:

3. Deep dive on specific segments

This is the most in-depth part of the analysis, and it allows you to further explore any questions raised during the initial analysis. For instance, you can look at what the uptake is of different uses cases from a gender perspective, or how your customers interact with agents, and spot any gender differences. You can also look at how customer behavior changes over time, for instance, to better understand who becomes a lapsed user versus who becomes a more active user.

Complementing the data analysis with follow up research can be a valuable way to understand the reasons of this drop off and to formulate strategies to reach more women with digital financial service such as mobile money, as well as to assess opportunities for advancing mobile money penetration and usage.


Elisa is the GSMA Connected Women Insights Manager. Before joining the GSMA, Elisa worked as an intern at the social enterprise WomenCraft in Ngara, Tanzania, where she contributed as Grant Manager and Budget Analyst. Prior to that, Elisa worked for Europe Direct, Forli’, Italy, as a European Trainer and covered roles at the Italian Consulate and at a shipping firm in Germany. Elisa holds a Master’s Degree from the Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies in International Economics and Conflict Management. This degree was a complement to her MA in International Security and Politics from University of Bologna and BA in Political Science and International Relations from University of Siena.


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