Updated: Oct 7, 2020
In Caribou’s research on identities, they asked a woman living in rural India her thoughts on ID’s and identification. In response, the woman called her nephew and said to the person interviewing her, “Ask him — he can tell you more about all that than me.”
This situation proves that women from developing countries and low-income households think that identification is not a necessity, but a privilege. Having an identity is a human right, and it should only be the norm for everyone to have proof of their identities. Digital identification, to be more specific, is key to accessing financial services. Not only does having a digital ID give substantial evidence of someone’s identity because it also enables financial inclusion — especially in women.
To take a closer look at the importance of digital identification, here are some of the reasons why having a digital ID enables women’s financial inclusion:
Digital identification simplifies document requirements, therefore making customer onboarding easier as it can be done remotely
Women living in rural areas have to trudge to the nearest bank branch to present identification documents that are required to open a bank account. However, if women have digital identification, they no longer need physical documents to prove their identity. They can also opt to open an account remotely through digital means because their digital ID can be used for identification instead.
Digital identification makes it possible for women to take charge of their financial futures, as they no longer have to rely on their husbands to avail of financial services
Women from low-income households tend to channel their salaries through the men in their families. This tendency can lead to dependence and can limit their control over their earnings. By getting a digital ID, they can finally take charge of their financial futures as this can be used for various financial services.
Digital identification enables women to open their own bank accounts, resulting in women’s financial inclusion
According to the World Bank’s Findex study, men tend to have more bank accounts than women. This statistic is especially glaring in developing countries. The study also cited that lack of documentation was a barrier to accessing financial services, and this is more pronounced in women. Through digital identification, women can finally open a bank account and make use of financial services, furthering financial inclusion in the world.
Digital identification gives women solid proof of their identities, making it easier for them to get a job as more economic opportunities open up to them
Without identification, women have no access to education, health care, social protection, and even jobs. By simply having proof of their identities, a lot of opportunities can open up for women. Once women have their digital ID, they can apply for a job or start their own business. These opportunities can lead to positive change in their family, community, and economy.
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