Why a segmentation strategy matters for serving the women’s market

Insights from Access Bank market research


F Jarden, A Rappoldt

Financial Service Providers are increasingly realising that needs and preferences differ across the female economy. Differences vary depending on women’s age, class, ethnicity, marital status, religion, wealth, stage of business, profession, location and other socially defined characteristics and markers. These factors all influence and impact the way different women use and receive financial services.

In 2019, Access Bank PLC and FMO – the Dutch entrepreneurial development bank – commissioned the KIT Royal Tropical Institute (KIT) and Palladium to deliver a bundle of services to strengthen the “W” Initiative in four countries: Nigeria, Ghana, Rwanda and Zambia. KIT conducted market research to identify the needs and preferences of the three “W” Initiative female market segments in Ghana, Rwanda and Zambia. For these three markets, the research applied KIT’s Gender Transformative Framework for Women’s Financial Inclusion – a multi-dimensional gender diagnostic tool – to provide Access Bank with a granular understanding of the segments’ aspirations, behaviours, needs and preferences for financial, non-financial and digital services.

Based on the market research, this paper explores the following research questions:

  1. What are the needs and preferences of specific women’s market segments?
  2. How can a segmentation strategy support banks to better serve different women segments?

This working paper is intended for financial institutions, donors and other practitioners interested in utilising segmentation as a tool for understanding and serving different women’s market segments.