Mobile money, introduced in Rwanda in 2010, has the potential to significantly enhance financial inclusion in the country. Nearly 25% of the Rwandan population is using mobile financial services.
There is however a significant gender gap in uptake and use of mobile money. In Rwanda, women are 20 percent less likely to have a mobile money account than men.
In order to overcome this gender gap, GSMA’s Connected Women program commissioned a study to understand the barriers women face to increased usage of mobile financial services.
Laterite carried out in-depth qualitative interviews with different profiles of mobile money users, male and female, to understand factors associated with high usage, and barriers to increased uptake, focusing in particular on the gender differences in perceptions, understanding, uses and challenges.
Using an iterative approach, we then tested the hypotheses developed during in-depth interviews through focus group discussions with a diverse group of mobile money users.
This research helped to outline the challenges faced by women in subscribing to and using mobile financial services, identifying specific barriers that, if targeted, could reduce the gender imbalance.
The research is being used by GSMA to promote the greater inclusion of women in the mobile financial services industry.