Kopernik Partnered with IDEO.org on Research to Understand the Situation of Women’s Access to Financial Services in Indonesia

Kopernik partnered with IDEO.org to conduct research on the current situation as well as identifying solutions that address the barriers to access and adoption of DFS (Digital Financial Services) for low-income women. With support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the research in Indonesia is the latest from a multi-year program previously conducted in Bangladesh, India, Kenya, Nigeria, Pakistan, and Tanzania.

Kopernik partnered with IDEO.org on research to address the barriers to access and adoption of DFS (Digital Financial Services) for low-income women.

The research was conducted in three regions including East Java, Bali, and Central Sulawesi involving 64 participants, including low-income women, financial agents, women influencers, tech helpers, couples, parents, and partners. Due to the COVID-19 travel restrictions and social distancing regulations, the research was carried out remotely via digital platforms and phone interviews.

The research covered topics such as gender norms, household money management, access and usage of digital financial services, Government-to-person (G2P) payment of financial support, and technology use. One of the key insights that makes Indonesia stand out from the other countries where this research was conducted is that in Indonesia, money is the domain of women, and most women interviewed shared that they act as ‘treasurers’ in their household, including being the main transactors for household expenses. Women in Indonesia also have more mobility compared to the other countries and there are many inspiring women supporting other women around them.

Six archetypes of women were developed based on their financial management styles and types of payments used.

There is much progress to be celebrated, however there is still work that needs to be done including improving women’s access to formal financial services, workplace opportunities, and adoption and usage of digital financial services in rural areas where cash is still the primary means of making a transaction. We identified some patterns across the women we interviewed which are represented by six archetypes of women ranging from low involvement in household management to high involvement, and from heavy use of cash in day-to-day transactions to more usage of digital financial services. By looking at the nuances of the women’s journey in using money, we explored ideas around how to make DFS more relevant for women (ranging from the digital village job market to e-commerce pop-up market), help them build confidence in using DFS (from a digital concierge financial service to a mother-daughter education program), and how to keep women inspired to grow their financial literacy and capacity (such as business-in-a box for stay-at-home mothers to long-term savings plans).

A convening event conducted by IDEO.org and Kopernik on 16 June 2021.

To read more about the research, the key insights, and opportunities, we welcome you to read the final project report that was presented by Kopernik and IDEO.org teams at a public convening event on 16 June 2021. The event featured two keynote speakers:

  • Dr. Iskandar Simorangkir, the Deputy Minister for Coordination of Macroeconomic and Financial Affairs and Head of the National Council for Financial Inclusion Secretariat
  • Dr. Leny Nurhayati Rosalin, the Deputy Minister for Gender Equality, Ministry of Women Empowerment and Child Protection

More than 80 participants attended the event from research organizations, NGOs, and Government institutions.

The final research report can be accessed through the following links: