Business Standard

5G speeds up, gender gap in mobile money awareness still loading


India has witnessed a mobile revolution in recent years, particular­ly with one of the fastest 5G networks globally. However, there exists a clear gender gap in India regarding the awareness of mobile money accounts, a key financial tool for achieving financial inclusion.

According to an annual face-to-face consumer survey conducted by Global System for Mobile Communicat­ions Associatio­n (GSMA) across seven low- and middleinco­me countries in 2023, adult women in India with phones exhibit the lowest awareness of mobile money accounts. Besides India, the surveyed countries include Bangladesh, Indonesia, Kenya, Nigeria, Senegal, and Pakistan. The survey reveals that while awareness of mobile money accounts among the adult female population in India with mobile phones increased from 27 per cent in 2022 to 34 per cent in 2023, it still remains the lowest compared to Indonesia (48 per cent), Bangladesh (72 per cent), Pakistan (76 per cent), Nigeria (70 per cent), and Kenya (100 per cent).

Conversely, awareness among adult Indian men with phones increased from 41 per cent in 2022 to 52 per cent in 2023. This survey is part of GSMA’S comprehens­ive report titled ‘The State of the Industry Report on Mobile Money 2024’.

Similarly, in India, the gender gap in mobile money account ownership between adult men and women stands at 56 per cent. While only 11 per cent of the total adult male population with phones possesses a mobile money account, this number is projected to more than double to 24 per cent among adult males by 2023.

The gender gap in mobile money accounts in India is comparable to Bangladesh but lower than Pakistan. However, this gap is significan­tly narrower in other countries such as Kenya (2 per cent), Indonesia (9 per cent), and Senegal (18 per cent).

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