With dark shadows lurking everywhere on the Dark Net and stories of frauds being reported every day, it is not surprising that most urban Indian women are not adept at using financial apps. Without in-depth knowledge, it is only natural that they would avoid digital transactions for buying goods or services rendered.
An exploratory overview of the behaviour of urban Indian women when it comes to usage of mobile apps for financial transactions reveals some interesting facts. Over 1,000 women across Mumbai from different economic and cultural backgrounds participated in an extensive survey conducted recently by InstaReM, a member of RippleNet, Ripple’s global network of 200+ banks and other financial institutions.
Mobile app acceptance
While the penetration of mobile phones is close to 100%, the acceptance of financial mobile applications as an option for conducting financial transactions is still remarkably low in India. Only 41% of the women surveyed had actually downloaded a financial transaction app on their mobile phones. About 37% of these women said they had downloaded these apps for convenience’s sake and self-service. Interestingly, almost none of these women sought any guidance from anyone else before downloading the apps.
Talking about the limits of spending on a financial app, 71% were comfortable with spending Rs1,000 to Rs10,000 on a single transaction. Only 7% of women surveyed said they would not spend five-digit amounts online.
The usage patterns of mobile apps by women threw up some interesting revelations. About 62% of women polled used financial apps for basic banking and bill payment-related transactions, with an additional 10% saying they conducted financial transactions only for shopping purposes. Only 9% of women indulged in sophisticated financial transactions, such as asset management and wealth management on their mobile apps.
Very few women are comfortable with complex transactions on financial apps. Here is what makes them apprehensive:
- Almost two-thirds of the women surveyed said they were concerned about cybersecurity, transparency, pervasiveness and mindset issues
- About 21% of women said the real problem with financial apps was keeping track of how much was being spent, despite the tracking services on the apps
- Women do not like to explore mobile application options when it comes to cross-border financial transactions — even if it means high costs, inconvenience and delays. Only 14.1% of women contacted said they had used mobile apps for cross-currency financial transactions; banks remained the preferred channel among 44% of women for such transactions. A further probe of the respondents revealed they chose banks because they were not aware of the existence of digital alternatives for cross-border transactions. They said a banker at least had a face and a mobile number they could relate to and ask questions if something went wrong with the transaction.
- This exploratory survey was commissioned by InstaReM, South-East Asia’s leading cross-border payments company, to students of the Harkisan Mehta Institute of Media, Research and Analysis (HMMRA), Mumbai, a part of the famed SVKM Group of Institutes.
- Since inception in 2015, InstaReM has raised $ 60 million in three rounds of funding. Its earlier investors include Global Founders Capital, Vertex Ventures, Fullerton Financial Holdings, GSR Ventures, SBI-FMO Emerging Asia Financial Sector Fund, MDI Ventures and Beacon Venture Capital.
For more information, visit https://www.instarem.com/