58% of women prefer AePS to access their bank accounts in semi-urban and rural India

58% of women prefer AePS to access their bank accounts in semi-urban and rural India

Calcutta, Mar 8 (UNI) PayNearby, a digital payment company, said on Tuesday that more than 58% of female customers, who availed basic banking services at PayNearby outlets, preferred AePS to access their bank accounts. Cash continues to dominate the payment space among women, as more than 60% prefer to process cash, followed by UPI QR and cards in that order, according to a press release. The information was shared as part of a detailed survey called “PayNearby Women Financial Index (PWFI)” – an annual pan-India report showcasing women’s financial consumption in retail outlets, published by PayNearby. The annual report, in its second edition, has been prepared on the basis of a pan-India survey conducted by the company among more than 3,000 retail stores in the country, recording the financial transactions of female consumers as observed in these outlets. According to the survey, over 75% of retailers mentioned that women in the 21-30 age bracket were the most digital savvy, with over 50% of this age bracket owning a smartphone and accessing digital content through it. This was immediately followed by the 31-40 age group. More than 60% of female customers, especially in cash-out markets, were in the 31-40 age bracket, with assisted digital access to their accounts via AePS being the most widely used banking service. In urban and metropolitan centres, which were remittance-oriented, 20-30 year olds made up almost 25% of consumers, illustrating the growing trend of young women entering the labor market. While cash remained the most preferred mode, UPI and cards were also adopted by female consumers, with preferences ranging from 5-15% among different age groups. Prepaid cards and digital wallets were also mentioned as use cases for accessing digital content/e-commerce in the segment of digitally aware and smartphone-carrying customers. Cash pickup, mobile recharges and bill payment were the top three services used by female customers at retail touchpoints. In urban and metropolitan centers, money transfers have also been well adopted. The transactions were carried out mainly by young working women belonging to the age group of 21-30 years (45%) and 31-40 years (25%). In the withdrawal market largely dominated by Tier III and rural areas, the majority of transactions made by women were in the 31-40 age bracket (65%). About 78% of women in Tier III and rural markets used cash withdrawals. Overall, ₹1000-2500 was the preferred withdrawal range for women across the country. The report further stated that while more than 75% of women managed their own bank accounts, these were mainly for cash withdrawals and cash deposits. Interestingly, more than 20% of women admitted that their husbands managed their bank accounts instead of them. After the pandemic, women were increasingly aware of saving for medical emergencies and rainy days, with more than 40% of respondents indicating that “Bachat” was a priority for them. However, formal savings instruments continue to be low uptake, with less than 15% of respondents aware of formal savings instruments. Penetration of advanced services such as insurance (less than 5 percent) also remains low. Commenting on the results, Anand Kumar Bajaj, Founder, Managing Director and CEO of PayNearby said, “India is at the forefront of the digital revolution globally. However, there is a real danger of widening the digital divide that exists today, if all segments of our society are not integrated into this journey. Whether it’s our female force or the large, underserved rural economy, it’s important for us to measure the numerical index in all segments, to put in place appropriate actions whenever necessary.” “It It is encouraging to see a growing trend of young women in the 20-40 age group actively consuming digital financial services in retail stores nationwide. Although today’s travel is widely attended, moving from here to a self-service mode will require us to work harder to create a more self-sufficient ecosystem around them.” “That means ensuring easy availability of content technology, digital education and digital banking products that can break down technology and cost barriers and be easily assimilated across all segments of society. As our youth and women become more integrated into the digital lifestyle, this will lay the foundation for a more evolved and empowered society. He added, “As more women begin to use digital payments, this will help increase overall account ownership. Digital assistance for day-to-day actions, such as paying for expenses or accessing digital commerce and infotainment, can save women time and resources, and help improve quality of life.Our mission is to enable form factor-independent, simple-to-use digital payment alternatives in all stores Kirana of the country, so that our masses, especially our women, can soon bridge the digital divide that exists in Bharat.” The study showed that informal home-based savings continue to be a trend, with less than 15% of clients who are aware of a formal savings product. While this number is better than last year, there is still much to be done to make meaningful changes. For i To inculcate the habit of formal savings in every household, we need coordinated efforts from all stakeholders, and at PayNearby, our commitment to this continues unabated,” Bajaj explained. Furthermore, the survey indicated that nearly 35% of women visiting Kiranas and outlets to conduct financial transactions were using smartphones and actively using WhatsApp. Adoption in cities was 50-60%. Rural Bharat has also seen good adoption, with double-digit adoption almost nationwide. This means growing adoption of digital services among female consumers visiting Kirana stores for financial transactions. When asked about their top three savings goals, raising children topped the list for women, followed by ‘medical emergency’, ‘buying a house’ and ‘buying gold’. “. 55% of women listed ₹500-750 as their preferred range for monthly savings. With only 5% of female customers aware of insurance as a service, the survey highlighted the imminent need for greater awareness of this service, especially in rural and semi-urban markets. However, among conscious respondents, life insurance followed by health were the preferred choices. UNI SJC KK

Shawanda H. Saldana