Unveiling Financial Autonomy: A Comprehensive Study on Urban Indian Women’s Money Management

In a recent collaboration between DBS Bank India and CRISIL, a pioneering study titled ‘Women and Finance’ has brought to light compelling insights into how urban Indian women plan, prioritize, and manage their finances. The first of three reports, launched recently, sheds light on the financial behaviour of over 800 women across 10 cities in India, exploring aspects such as decision-making, goal setting, saving and investing patterns, digital tool adoption, and banking product preferences.

Active Participation in Long-Term Family Decision-Making: One of the key revelations from the study is that an impressive 98% of salaried and self-employed Indian women actively participate in long-term family decision-making. This statistic challenges traditional notions and underscores the evolving role of women in shaping the financial future of their families.

Factors Influencing Financial Behaviour: Various factors influence the financial behaviour of women including age, income, marital status, presence of dependents and home location. Understanding these variables is crucial in developing tailored strategies for businesses, regulators, and financial institutions.

Decision-Making Dynamics and Evolution of Goals: Contrary to stereotypes, the study reveals that women are not bystanders but leaders when it comes to financial decisions. Approximately 47% of women make independent financial choices, highlighting a growing trend of financial autonomy. Age and affluence emerge as significant factors, with women over 45 exhibiting a higher propensity for independent financial decisions compared to their younger counterparts.

Saving, Borrowing and Investment Behaviour: The study delves into the saving, borrowing, and investment behaviour of women earners in metros. It notes that women tend to be risk-averse, with a significant portion of their investments parked in fixed deposits and savings accounts. Interestingly, the presence of dependents plays a crucial role in shaping investment behaviour, reflecting the diverse financial goals of women across different life stages and family structures.

Digital Adoption and Regional Variations: The report provides valuable insights into the digital adoption patterns of urban women, with UPI emerging as a preferred choice for various payment needs. Regional nuances are evident, with variations in credit card usage and cash preferences across cities like Mumbai, Kolkata, and Delhi. The findings highlight the need for targeted financial solutions that consider both age-specific preferences and regional dynamics.

The ‘Women and Finance’ study not only challenges stereotypes surrounding women’s financial roles but also offers a nuanced understanding of the diverse factors influencing their money management decisions. As India grapples with gender pay gaps and workforce participation challenges, these insights become invaluable for businesses, policymakers, and financial institutions aiming to create inclusive and tailored financial solutions. The subsequent reports in this series are anticipated to provide even deeper insights into the financial lives of urban Indian women, paving the way for a more equitable and empowering financial landscape.

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