The Role of Trust in Increasing Women's Access to Finance through Digital Technologies

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The benefits of DFS and the advantages digital technologies offer in terms of its ability to reach underserved communities are well documented. Why certain segments choose to adopt DFS products while others do not is based on a complex decision process, rooted in both the particulars of the product and company itself as well as in external factors, such as the regulatory environment and social norms. This paper advocates that trust is a critical ingredient for any user to decide to acquire, invest in and use a new technology of any type, and models for developing trust provide useful guides for evaluating pathways to increasing the use of DFS. The paper further asserts that for women to adopt and use DFS products, trust is an even more important lever due to a variety of factors, often driven by social norms and policy, including:

  • Unpaid household responsibilities
  • Lower income levels than men
  • Relatively less exposure to large commercial entities
  • Limited exposure to technology and limited financial literacy
  • Greater general vulnerability leading to higher risk aversion

As indicated above, there are DFS-specific trust factors that have been incorporated into the Technology Acceptance Model (TAM). This modified TAM provides a framework to better understand the decision process associated with DFS adoption and a tool to design further research and pinpoint potential interventions.

Saturday, May 12, 2018 - 6:00am

Last updated: May 12, 2018