Money & Banking

Women catching up on financial awareness...

Surabhi Mumbai | Updated on March 08, 2021

..but lag behind men in terms of both savings and investments

Women have become more aware financially and are taking out more loans but continue to lag behind men in terms of both savings and investments, as per data with several leading firms.

According to TransUnion Cibil, over the last six years, the share of women borrowers grew to about 28 per cent in September 2020 from 23 per cent in September 2014, in an indication of increasing inclusion of women in the country’s credit market.

There were 4.75 crore women borrowers by September last year, with a marked preference in demand for personal loans and consumer durable loans. Data from earlier years (2014, 2015 and 2016) shows that home loans were highest in demand for women consumers.

Data from CRIF Highmark also revealed that men outweigh women in terms of taking bank loans but surprisingly, the average home loan ticket size for women borrowers is higher than that for men.

“Size of home loans borrowed by women is 13 per cent higher than those borrowed by men,” it said. The average home loan ticket size for women was higher at ₹16.69 lakh (₹16.38 lakh as of December-end 2019) against ₹14.71 lakh (₹14.45 lakh) for men.

According to a survey by ANAROCK, real estate was the preferred investment asset for 62 per cent of the women while 54 per cent men chose it over the stock market, fixed deposits and gold

Insurance

Women also seem to have realised the importance of insurance, largely due to the Covid-19 pandemic but they continue to lag behind men.

Key findings by Max Life Insurance relating to urban Indian women’s financial protection revealed that urban Indian working women have become more financially resilient than men in the backdrop of the pandemic.

“While working women’s knowledge index (the degree to which they are aware about life insurance products) stood at 55 in comparison to 57 for working men, it improved by an impressive 11 points in comparison to last year,” said the survey, “Max Life India Protection Quotient 3.0,” which was done in partnership with Kantar.

Similarly, a survey conducted by Reliance General Insurance by Nielsen revealed that 57 per cent of the current women policies holders have purchased the policy in the last one year since the pandemic started.

However, only 43 per cent of women are involved in decision making for health insurance, but not on their own.

Further, 98 per cent of the women surveyed believe that there should be more women health centric add-ons in the health insurance such as menstruation/hormonal issues, PCOD treatment, mental illness related to postpartum syndrome and osteoporosis treatment.

Cryptocurrency

Even in terms of newer investment classes like cryptocurrencies, the participation of women is lower compared to men.

According to CoinDCX, women account for 20 per cent of its total customer base in 2021, slightly higher than 15 per cent last year.

According to Zebpay, about 10 per cent of investors on its platform are women. “The average ticket size for women investors was ₹3 lakh for the period of March to August 2020 which increased to ₹5.7 lakh from September to February, 2021,” it said.

Published on March 08, 2021

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