This article explores evidence which shows that women are more likely to experience most risks identified in CGAP’s typology of 66 DFS consumer risks than men. CGAP observes that long-standing digital financial service (DFS) risks are not only getting worse, but new risks are emerging every year, and women are more vulnerable to DFS risks than men. This has significant consequences for women’s financial inclusion. In addition to causing women financial hardship, experiencing or hearing stories of women who have faced consumer risks can discourage women from using mobile money, which is the main driver of financial inclusion in many developing countries. Negative experiences with DFS can also force women to revert to informal finance mechanisms, reversing progress in financial inclusion.
The authors argue that consumer risks warrant urgent action to ensure positive outcomes for women and vulnerable DFS users. They also provide a series of recommendations for regulators, supervisors, funders, and providers to help mitigate DFS consumer risks for women.