There are few, if any, mobile platforms designed around women’s financial habits and needs. However, financial inclusion of women cannot be fully achieved by focusing on financial products; gender norms must also be addressed. CARE recognized the need to design a savings group approach that would simultaneously address women’s unique needs in terms of formal financial services as well as individual agency, relations, and informal structures (e.g. social and gender norms) which underpin the barriers women face in accessing financial services and exercising control over earned income.
The Digital Sub-Wallets project aimed to promote gender equality in western Uganda through two interventions: mobile banking and household financial counseling. In the mobile banking intervention, participating Village Savings and Loan Associations (VSLAs) opened a group bank account through Post Bank; individual members could then open their own accounts, linking to the group account and using mobile technology to access their banking information. The second intervention was a series of gender dialogue and financial counseling sessions that were delivered to households.