Studying the Financial Agency of Low-income Women in Pakistan

Creating gender-inclusive digital finance by addressing women's barriers in cash-in/cash-out process.

The Challenge

Our goal was to create gender-inclusive digital financial services by understanding and addressing the barriers that women encounter in accessing such services. While achieving more empathetic and inclusive services is a multifaceted journey, our focus for this project was specifically on the cash-in and cash-out process within the mobile money ecosystem.

We can't thank Ideate enough for their partnership and friendship throughout this project. We are so lucky to work with such incredible people! Our time in Pakistan has been amazing in every way, thanks to them. Can't wait to continue working together, and until we meet again!

Program Manager, IDEO

The Work

Discovery and Assessment

To tackle this challenge, we adapted field tools from similar projects in other countries to suit our context in Pakistan. These tools were then deployed in peri-urban and rural areas, where we engaged with over 55 users and mobile money agents.

Design and Development

Our research began with open-ended inquiries into financial behaviors, allowing us to gain deeper insights into the needs and challenges faced by women. Subsequently, we tested various concepts aimed at simplifying access to financial services, building upon our initial findings.

The Outcome

We evaluated the potential impact of each concept by assessing how well it aligned with the lives of different users. Mobility maps were also developed to visualize where each concept could be implemented effectively. Furthermore, we assessed all opportunities through a gender lens, categorizing them as gender negative, gender neutral, or gender transformative.

Finally, we compiled our findings, including insights, opportunities, journey maps, and other artifacts, into a comprehensive report, which was presented to our partners for further action and consideration.