* The study shows that in 2022, 49% of women borrowers prefer online loan journey through mobile apps, whereas, in 2021, it was a preference for 34% women
* Additionally, 59% of women have some kind of financial service app on their smart phone, just a few percentage points behind men (64%)
* More than 55% women are interested in ‘embedded finance’ where e-commerce users can convert purchases directly to EMIs for affordable financing
* Overall 40% borrowers surveyed are interested to initiate loan application through WhatsApp chat in future and women are neck to neck with men
This International Women's Day, with the UN theme of ‘DigitALL: Innovation and technology for gender equality,’ Home Credit India, a local arm of the leading global consumer finance provider, reaffirms its commitment to promoting financial inclusion and gender equality through responsible and digital-led finance ensuring access to affordable credit. In sync with the UN Women theme, Home Credit’s annual How India Borrows (HIB) study, released in December 2022, has shown that with changing times, women in India, particularly from Metros, Tier 1 & 2 cities are fast embracing technology and digital evolution of consumer finance.
In India, women have traditionally faced barriers towards access to financial services, but this seems to be changing in recent years. The HIB study shows in 2022, 49% of female borrowers prefer to complete loan process though online journey via mobile apps, highlighting a strong preference for convenience and accessibility. In 2021, the preference for digital loans was by 34% females. Additionally, 59% of female borrowers have some kind of financial app on their smart phone, a few points lesser than men (64%) and have also shown preference for mobile banking (52%) over internet banking (41%).
Another major positive in the growing embrace towards digitalisation of financial services, is the study revealing that more than 55% women borrowers are interested in 'embedded finance,' so they can convert their online shopping bills to EMIs for affordable financing. This is coupled with other findings such as 38% female borrowers versus 41% males have shown interest in initiating loan application through WhatsApp chat in future and 24% women have shown trust & familiarity with chatbots, up from 18% in 2021, while only 6% showed distrust to the medium.
Overall, nearly two-third or 66% of female borrowers are optimistic about digital lending services owing to rising popularity of online loans, convenience experienced, and faster adoption of digital lending.
Speaking on the findings, Mr. Ashish Tiwari, Chief Marketing Officer, Home Credit India, said, “As a responsible consumer lender, Home Credit has always believed in the power of technology and digital innovation to foster financial inclusion and accessibility to all. The How India Borrows study shows the beginning of the shift in narrowing gap in the digital divide in gender equality when it comes to financial freedom and access to financial services for women. As digital lending fastens accessibility & convenience and female borrowers across cities are embracing digital transformation well, we at HCIN are committed
to providing seamless and user-friendly lending experiences in addressing the unmet credit needs of our customers by combining the convenience of varied financing options such as EMI Cards with transparency and accessibility.”
As a responsible consumer lender, financial literacy is one of the main ESG pillars for Home Credit India and are working on it by promoting financial and digital literacy to drive a responsible borrowing culture in the wider society. As part of our financial literacy initiatives, we have engaged with over 3 million people through our Paise Ki Paathshala microsite, blogs and social media campaigns. Along with it, Home Credit had started a financial literacy CSR initiative – Saksham in 2022, to impart basic personal finance skills in partnership with a national NGO – Indian Development Foundation, targeting 30,000 marginalised women & girls pan-India.
Home Credit India is committed to leveraging technology to create a more inclusive financial ecosystem that empowers women and promotes gender equality. Through continued focus on innovation and technology, Home Credit India aims to be an enabler of fulfilling consumer aspirations and helping them lead a life of financial independence.
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