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2 out of 3 urban Indian women have reservations about financial apps: InstaReM

An exploratory overview of the behaviour of urban Indian women, when it comes to the usage of mobile apps for financial transactions, reveals some interesting outcomes. Over 1,000 women across Mumbai from different economic and cultural background participated in an extensive survey conducted by InstaReM recently.

While the penetration of the mobile phones is close to 100%, the acceptance of financial mobile applications as an option to conduct 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. 37% of these women said they downloaded these apps for convenience and self-service. Interestingly, almost none of these women sought any guidance from anyone else before downloading the app.

Talking about the limit for spending on a financial app, 71% of the audience was comfortable about spending INR 1000 to INR 10000 in a single transaction.  Only 7% of women surveyed said that they would spend five-digit amounts online.

The usage patterns of mobile apps by women threw some interesting revelations. 62% of the women polled used financial apps for basic banking and bill payments related transactions with an additional 10% saying that they conducted financial transactions only for shopping purpose. Only 9% 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’s what makes them apprehensive. Almost two-thirds of the women surveyed said they were concerned about cybersecurity, transparency, pervasiveness and mindset issues. 21% of women said that the real problem with financial apps is to keep track of how much was being spent, despite tracking services being available on the app.

Women do not like to explore option of mobile applications when it comes to cross-border financial transactions – even if it means high-costs, inconvenience and delays. Only 14.1% women contacted said that they had used mobile apps for cross-currency financial transactions; banks continue to remain the preferred channel among 44% of women for such transactions. A further probe with the respondents revealed that they chose banks because they were not aware of the existence of digital alternatives for cross-border transactions. They said that the 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, Southeast Asia’s leading cross-border payments company to the students of the Harkisan Mehta Institute of Media, Research and Analysis (HMMRA), Mumbai, a part of famed SVKM group of institutes. 

Since inception in 2015, InstaReM has raised US$ 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.

InstaReM is a member of RippleNet, Ripple’s global network of 200+ banks and other financial institutions.


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