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7 in 10 Lending Firms Say Women Are Equally or More Loyal Than Men Reveals IFC Survey

Fintech firms could play a massive role in advancing financial inclusion for women finds a new IFC report. According to the asset management and investment advisory platform, this can be done by utilising business strategies informed by analysing sex-disaggregated data.

Until now, limited research has quantified the extent to which fintech firms are actively addressing financial inclusion for women and the specific strategies that are proving successful. To fill this gap, IFC conducted a survey of 114 fintech firms in emerging markets around the globe. The report, Her Fintech Edge: Market Insights for Inclusive Growth, provides insights from fintech firms about their own perceptions and practices to deliver services to women’s customer segments.

Emmanuel Nyirinkindi, vice president of cross-cutting solutions, IFC
Emmanuel Nyirinkindi, vice president of cross-cutting solutions, IFC

“What is clear from this study is that strong behavioural gender differences, as well as barriers, call for fintech firms to offer differentiated solutions for women,” said Emmanuel Nyirinkindi, vice president of cross-cutting solutions, IFC. “In doing so, fintech firms can unlock the full potential of the women’s market – a valuable customer segment that exhibits greater loyalty, lower default rates, and strong revenue generation.”

Fintechs believe women are more loyal or equally as loyal as men

The survey findings show that women still make up a minority of fintech portfolios, with 63 per cent of the lending-focused fintech firms reporting that women-owned small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) make up less than a quarter of their portfolio.

Nevertheless, the report highlights that there is a strong business case for fintech firms to serve female customers. The majority of fintech firms consider women to be more loyal, less risky, and more or equally valuable customers than men. The survey found that 69 per cent of lending-focused fintech firms believe women’s loyalty is greater than or equal to that of men.

The presence of leaders who have internalised the social or commercial value of serving women is the strongest internal driver for firms intentionally targeting females. The survey found that 58 per cent of firms attribute their strategic focus on women to leaders’ belief in the importance of women’s financial inclusion.

To target women intentionally, the report explains that fintech firms need knowledge, research, financial support, and technical assistance to fully capture the women’s market.


  • Francis is a journalist and our lead LatAm correspondent, with a BA in Classical Civilization, he has a specialist interest in North and South America.

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