Financial inclusion refers to individuals and businesses having access to appropriate, affordable, and timely financial products and services, such as banking, insurance, credit,
and savings. In Nigeria, more than 50% of women face financial exclusion, with factors such as gender inequality, poor education, and economic disempowerment further widening the gender gap in access to financial services. This exclusion from financial services contributes to the gender and income gap, as women also need financial services to address their economic needs.
The gender gap in financial inclusion is more pronounced in rural areas, where women face additional challenges, including limited access to financial service providers, lack of information about financial products, and low levels of financial literacy. Financial services and products must be accessible to individuals across all levels of society, regardless of gender and location, through channels that are easy to access and understand.
With the proliferation of financial technology platforms and the incorporation of technology innovation in providing financial services, the possibilities for increased financial inclusion of women seem very promising. However, challenges exist in the use of technology in financial inclusion for women, particularly those in rural areas, both systemic and infrastructural. We need to explore the current realities of women’s access to financial services and products and how technology can be used to close the gap.