Build Wallets for Women

Validated Individual Expert

There are several financial services providers that have focused on women and designed female-focused financial services, but not enough. The range of female-focused financial services aims to tackle women`s low conversion rate, all the way to leveraging data and better understanding women`s financial health challenges.

It is clear that female physical and mental health issues are different than male physical and mental health issues. Similarly, female financial wellness issues differ from male financial wellness issues.

There are several explanations for these differences. The bottom line is that there are major gender gaps even within the innovative Fintech ecosystem which is no longer at its early stages. I was actually struck by the Fintech female gender gap reported in the recent report `Fintechs serving the Female economy` by the Financial Alliance for Women, in collaboration with Finstep Asia and the Global Fintech Fest. Only 27.6% of women use Fintech financial services and this gender gap apparently is wider than the gap for bank account ownership and of course wider than smartphone ownership and mobile internet usage.

This means that Fintechs despite their improved accessibility, better customer experience, and ability to personalize services based on data, have not yet managed to change the Finserv gender gap stats.

`Country characteristics and several individual-level controls explain about a third of the unconditional gap. Gender differences in the willingness to use new financial technology or fintech entrants if they offer cheaper services account for over half of the remaining gap.` Fintech Gender Gap paper by BIS

There is therefore an opportunity to serve more women. If we look at the projections around spending alone:

Women will control 75% of the world’s discretionary spend in 5yrs (2028)

I cannot help but think that Fintechs have to build the wallets that these women will use!

Build wallets for Women

Whether you are thinking about the functionalities women need more than men, or designing your rewards strategy that appeals to women, or the customer experiences women prefer; you need to build Operating systems with Women in mind.

If you believe that Wallets will be the dominant Operating systems for our financial lives and financial health, then build wallets for women. If you are a niche Fintech provider that can and will partner with a Financial Operating system provider, then again design your financial product with women in mind.

Currently, Fintech services for women are standalone and without a significant variety. More importantly, we are in the early stages of the Open Finance trend (Open banking and lending are leading and open wealth and insurance are behind) and female-focused financial services cannot escape this. The Fintech gender gap for female services will only start closing when the scattered female fintech services are integrated and or embedded.

Ellevest, is a seasoned female Fintech focused on investing since 2014. They just published an alarming report showing that women’s financial health is at a five-year low. This index is US focused and looks at factors like pay gap, retirement gaps etc. Fintech needs to come to the rescue of this awful reality.

In the UK, women’s pensions are £100,000 less than men`s and there is a £15 billion gender investment gap. Vestpod and Smart Purse are both helping women narrow this gap with similar services that Ellevest provides in the US.

All three are a mixture of PFM (personal financial management), WealthTech (investing), coaching and community building.

In the EU, FinMarie out of Germany is offering similar services for women. Their app enables e-learning communities, offers robo-advisor type investment capabilities and more traditional financial coaching in real estate and business management.

Cashmere’s digital wallet is a Fintech helping women save for luxury items with a mantra ` FOR SMART WOMEN WHO ARE IN CONTROL OF THEIR LIVES, WARDROBES — AND WALLETs`.

SavewithCashmere is enabled by Mangopay a B2B payments Fintech and part of the French charity crowdfunding platform, Leetchi and Credit Mutuel Arkéa, the French banking group.

In 2020, the female-focused Fintech HerMoney was launched in Brazil with the motto `Your financial Whatsapp!`. Their focus is to help women entrepreneurs with financial management services like mentoring, educational content, financial reports, and integration with key financial institutions so that they can grow their businesses. HerMoney is partnering with microfinance institutions to offer credit lines to women entrepreneurs.

The Brazilian Fintech is unrelated with HerMoney, the US digital media company focused on improving the relationships women have with money founded by Jean Chatzky, a financial editor of NBC’s “Today” show.

In Africa, is a Fintech focused on providing access to credit for women (not only) for now in Kenya and Ethiopia. The digital tool enables local women’s savings groups build their credit by keeping an accurate and secure record of their savings and loan activity. Women don’t even need to have a smartphone or formal identification because the group takes care of it.

In India, Upwards is a fintech startup offering a broad variety of instant personal loans exclusively for working women professionals.

The bottom line is thatwomen`s financial wellness is not taken care of. This is an opportunity for Fintechs to create a financial operating system for women. If you believe in the potential of Wallets becoming the core of a financial operating system, then build Wallets for women.

I am puzzled that neobanks and other consumer-facing Fintechs are not targeting women. The only mention of a bank with a female-focused offering integrated into their e-banking that I came across, was a Swiss traditional bank, Bank Cler that launched in 2001 Eva, an offering designed especially for women. Eva provides private female customers with consulting services and access to networking and events. However, this service has been shut down.

Let me know in the comments if there are neobanks with a female-focused offering.

The only area that has more services is the investment area, as there are many investment clubs for women globally (however, this is not because of Fintech). Also, crowdfunding platforms seem to be attracting capital for women entrepreneurs at a considerably higher rate than VCs.


All Comments

Recommended for you

  • Valkyrie Ethereum Futures ETF Receives U.S. SEC Approval

    The US SEC has approved Valkyrie to convert its existing Bitcoin futures ETF to a Bitcoin and Ethereum futures ETF. The new fund will be renamed "Valkyrie Bitcoin and Ethereum Strategy ETF" and will take effect on October 3, with the code still being BTF.

  • AlphaSense Raises $150M in Series E Funding Round Led by BOND and Alphabet's CapitalG

    AlphaSense, a B2B AI platform focused on business intelligence and search, has completed a successful Series E funding round, raising $150 million. The round was led by BOND and included investments from Alphabet's CapitalG, Goldman Sachs, and Viking Global. AlphaSense's valuation has grown from $1.7 billion to $2.5 billion since its Series D funding round in June 2023. The platform uses machine learning to provide deep insights into business and finance analytics, offering "insights-as-a-service." The latest investment will allow AlphaSense to continue leading the generative AI revolution in the B2B sector.

  • web3 startup IYK raises $16.8 million in seed funding, led by A16z Crypto

    Web3 startup IYK has raised $16.8 million in seed funding, with A16z Crypto leading the way and other investors including 1kx, Collabcurrency, Lattice Capital, and gmoney. According to its website, IYK is a participant in the a16z Crypto Startup School, which is an accelerator program from the venture capital giant that typically invests $500,000 in participating startups in exchange for 7% equity. IYK says that it has recruited over 100 creators from industries such as fashion, music, and art since its founding in 2021. To attract more brands and creators, it is launching a self-service platform to help create digital physical experiences.

  • Oracle project Supra completed over US$24 million in financing, with participation from Animoca Brands and Coinbase Ventures.

    On September 28th, Supra, a provider of oracle and VRF services, announced that it had completed a funding round of over $24 million. Investors in this round include Animoca Brands, BCW, Coinbase Ventures, FiveT Fintech (formerly Avaloq Ventures), Galaxy Interactive, Hashed, HashKey, Huobi Ventures, No Limit Holdings, Prosus Ventures,, Republic Crypto, Shima Capital, Signum Capital, SMO Capital, Sound Ventures, Sublime Ventures, UOB Venture Management (Dahua Bank), and Valor Equity Partners.

  • Hong Kong police arrested three people again in connection with the JPEX case, bringing the total number of arrests to 15

    Hong Kong police arrested three more people related to the JPEX case, including one director and one employee of the overseas exchange Lupin, and one popular analyst from a foreign currency exchange shop. The total number of arrests is now 15. The police have received a total of 2,392 reports, involving a total amount of nearly 1.5 billion yuan, and have frozen 77 million yuan in assets. 

  • The EU will collect data proving that cryptocurrency PoW mechanisms "seriously" harm the environment and plans to develop sustainability standards

    On September 28th, the European Commission released a tender contract worth 800,000 euros (approximately $842,000) aimed at mitigating the "significant harm" that cryptocurrency poses to the environment. The research, which will end on November 10th, will establish standards that will be incorporated into potential future EU policies to curb the impact of cryptocurrency on climate change and develop new energy efficiency labels for blockchain. The European Commission stated in the tender document that "there is evidence that crypto-assets can cause significant damage to the climate and the environment," which could undermine the EU's greenhouse gas reduction targets, indicating that new sustainable development standards may be adopted in the future. EU legislators are concerned about the energy-intensive PoW consensus mechanism that supports blockchain such as Bitcoin. The EU's research will be completed within a year and will study green issues related to the use of water, waste, natural resources, and energy by cryptocurrencies. (CoinDesk)

  • Brazil’s cryptocurrency trading volume in July was US$3.7 billion, with USDT trading accounting for 81.6%

    According to data from the Federal Tax Authority, cryptocurrency transactions in Brazil reached 18.8 billion Brazilian real (approximately 3.7 billion US dollars) in July, a decrease of 11.4% compared to the previous month. The three highest transaction volumes were stablecoins, with USDT accounting for 15.3 billion Brazilian real, or 81.6% of the total transaction volume, followed by USDC (838 million Brazilian real) and Brazilian real stablecoin BRZ (641 million Brazilian real). 

  • The National Blockchain Industry Industry-Education Integration Community was established in Xiongan New Area

    National Blockchain Industry Production-Education Integration Community Establishment Conference was held in Xiong'an New Area on September 27. The National Blockchain Industry Production-Education Integration Community is jointly formed by Xiong'an Guochuang Center Technology Co., Ltd., Southwest University of Finance and Economics, Hebei Software Vocational and Technical College, and other units under the guidance of the Vocational and Adult Education Department of the Ministry of Education, the Education and Examination Center of the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, and the China Association of Small and Medium Enterprises, together with relevant industry associations, enterprises, undergraduate colleges, vocational colleges, scientific research institutes and other units. The establishment of the National Blockchain Industry Production-Education Integration Community aims to gather high-quality production-education resources and establish a new type of production-education integration organization to support the development of the blockchain industry, promote industrial development and talent cultivation, effectively promote the deep integration of industry and education, improve the quality of talent cultivation, better meet the development needs of the blockchain industry, and effectively promote economic and social development.

  • Slope, a Fintech Startup Backed by the Founder of Worldcoin, Completed $30 Million in Financing

    Slope, a financial technology startup supported by Worldcoin founder Sam Altman, announced the completion of a $30 million financing round, with participation from Y Combinator, monashees, and a group of angel investors in the financial technology field. It is reported that Sam Altman and Union Square Ventures jointly led Slope's previous $24 million Series A financing round. So far, the company's total financing amount has reached $187 million.