According to the policy draft “Banking on Equality Policy: Reducing the gender gap in financial inclusion (2020)” submitted to SBP, the access points of banks must be gender balanced. During an SBP research exercise to train women to become branchless banking agents, it was found that when compared with a male agent, women were more likely to approach a female agent. SBP’s demand side surveys reveal that women often feel intimidated to visit a bank branch. Further, women customers were more likely to learn about, and use additional financial services when dealing with a female agent. To further develop the access of women to financial services, and swift their acceptance of digital financial services, more of female bank branch representatives and branchless banking agents have to be working at financial services access points. Therefore, banks are required to maintain balance in gender rationales for bank representatives and branchless banking agents, to accommodate both urban as well as rural women.
We at Bank Alfalah, in accordance to SBP’s Policy, are aiming to include Nationwide female branchless banking agents. As having a woman agent in the vicinity will encourage more females to avail basic financial services such as opening and using mobile wallet account without any hesitation of sociocultural factors.