DBS Bank and CRISIL poll Shows 47% of Working Women in India Make their Own Financial Decisions

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A staggering 98% of Indian women who work for themselves or are compensated actively participate in long-term family decision-making, demonstrating a rise in financial independence. About 47% of them make independent financial decisions, according to the results of the DBS Bank and CRISIL survey report, which reflects women’s increasing financial autonomy. Wealth and age are major factors in determining these choices. With their abundance of experience, women over 45 lead the way, with 65% making independent financial decisions compared to 41% of those in the 25–35 age range.

The report offers an insight into the increasing agency of well-off, urban women. The main long-term financial priority of a woman in India changes as she gets older. For individuals in the 25–35 age range, purchasing or upgrading a home is of utmost importance. For those in the 35–45 age range, it moves on to children’s education, and for those over 45, it moves on to medical care. Predictably, those in the 35–45 age range are the ones who are starting to think about retirement planning.
The results of the poll indicated that age, income, marital status, having dependents, and place of residence were important determinants of women’s financial behavior.

The majority of the investments made by women in the metro areas are in fixed deposits (FDs) and savings accounts (51%), with gold (16%), mutual funds (15%), real estate (10%), and equities (7%). These women tend to be risk averse.

It makes sense that having dependents has a significant impact on how women invest. To be more precise, a quarter of married women without dependents opt to invest more than half of their income, compared to 43% of married women with dependents who prudently invest between 10 and 29% of their income.

Regional differences provide the insights more nuance. For instance, credit card usage is highest in Hyderabad and Mumbai, where 96% of Mumbai’s female population uses credit cards, compared to only 63% of Kolkata’s female population. What’s more, according to the report, 50% of the paid women said they had never taken out a loan. The bulk of individuals who took out loans chose home loans, indicating the strong cultural value that India places on being a homeowner.

The study also examined in detail how women used various banking and payment methods. Just 22% of people over 45 utilize UPI for online purchasing, compared to 33% of those in the 25–35 age range.

According to the survey, UPI is the payment method of choice for urban women for a range of purposes, including money transfers (38%), energy bills (34%), and online purchases (29%). This indicates that women are becoming less reliant on cash. Regional differences were noticeable in certain instances, as only 2% of women in Delhi chose to accept cash payments, compared to 43% of women in Kolkata.

Managing Director and Head of DBS Bank India’s Consumer Banking Group Prashant Joshi stated: “The survey’s findings underscore the significance of financial stability in the ambitions of self-sufficient female wage workers throughout India. The fact that modern Indian women own their financial decisions, have a wide range of borrowing and investing options, and are increasingly using digital media proves that they are not only participants in life, but also creators of it. Women make up more than 35% of our DBS Treasures clientele, and we have witnessed numerous encouraging instances of women managing their own finances. The DBS Women and Finance study highlights our commitment to empowering all customers to “Live more, Bank less” and is a positive step in the much-needed shift toward a more equal financial playing field.

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