Complete Guide on Banking Services for Women

18 May 2023

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From Gen X to Gen Z, a conscious mindset change is palpable amongst women earners who have not only earned but also invested. These women acted as financial agents, preparing society towards change with confidence and competence. However, in the words of *Linda Davis Taylor, CEO, and chairman of Clifford Swan Investment Counsellors, "Wealth without knowledge is wealth wasted." Though many women have earned money, personal finance for women has been largely driven by their fathers or spouses who have taken care of their banking and investments both amongst the literate and illiterate earners.

According to a study conducted by the IMF, greater inclusion of women in financial services as users, providers, and regulators, would have benefits beyond just gender equality. Reducing the gender gap in the finance sector would lead to higher stability in the banking system, and can also lead to economic as well as societal benefits.

Keeping this in mind, the government and banks are taking steps to create awareness and saving incentives for women across all sections. Banks and financial institutes are boosting women’s wealth with several targeted banking services for women . It is time to shift mindsets and gain knowledge of finance and banking.

Why Do Women Need Banking Finance?

Women’s banking is the most empowered tool directly linked to savings. Even now, a large percentage of the women population in the country gets paid in cash despite the government and banks’ efforts to channel salaries through banks, and cash can often be mis-utilised. Banking can stop this misuse, and help women plan and secure better future for themselves and their families. Banking services for women also allow them to take loans that open wider opportunities, along with a list of other facilities that come with a bank account.

Why are Banking Services for Women so Significant?

The first step towards financial freedom is opening a savings account with a bank. Women's banking is largely promoted with personal finance assistance for women by banks. Whether a woman is self-employed, a service holder, a housewife, a single woman or a senior citizen, the bank will offer attractive facilities with the account and is ready to provide assistance based on one’s requirements.

Banking Services for Single Women

A single woman can better her life with the right financial advantage. With access to the right banking facilities, she can open a savings account at a high-interest rate. Some accounts have a flexi-fixed facility, with other perks such as personal accidental insurance, discount on two-wheelers, Health Insurance, Education Loan for higher studies and a lot more. Women above the age of 18 years in India can make full use of all these banking services.

Banking Services for Housewife

Even if you are a homemaker, saving is a habit that every woman is born with. To add impetus to these savings, opening a savings account in the bank under the Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana (PMJDY) adds wings to small investments. A woman can make a monthly deposit of only Rs. 500, and within five months they are entitled to Rs. 10,000 loan facility. This financial facility gives women with low income a means to think big and expose them to wider financial opportunities.

Banking Services for Working Women

To encourage the use of a bank account, banks in collaboration with government agencies have introduced incentivised saving to pull women from economic hardships such as COVID-19. Loan facilities were provided for working women. The convenience of online banking enabled women to open digital banking accounts and to avail different types of loans. Banking apps , Internet banking , WhatsApp banking , and online applications for lockers were available for all women account holders. This helped save time and provided immense banking advantages.

Banking Services for Women Senior Citizens

Banking services are similar for all senior citizens, both men and women. Banks realize that with age, senior citizens tend to lead a sedentary lifestyle and physical attendance in banks may not be possible. Doorstep banking facilities by leading banks, for both financial and non-financial services for senior citizens, are provided with pickups of cheques and draft/pay orders. Requesting account statements, asking for delivery of a new chequebook and requisition slip, acceptance of 15G/15H forms, TDS/Form 16 certificate issuance, delivery of pre-paid or gift cards, submission of digital life certificate, addition/deletion/modification in nominee name, SCSS and other Govt. Schemes have become convenient for those in their senior years. Financial facilities such as cash withdrawals and fund transfer facilities at the doorstep are specially designed banking services for women senior citizens.

Banking is Empowering Women in India in Multiple Ways:

Touching across sections of society, banking for women is hugely beneficial. A formal financial service can help women control their funds securely and invest, which may not be possible with liquid cash. Providing women with a wealth of financial opportunities, banks are empowering women with loans, driving them towards higher achievements.

Women Entrepreneurs Loan

With equal opportunities for women springing up in every field, the finance sector is also leaving no stone unturned in working towards a more inclusive system. Certain banks offer special facilities in which women entrepreneurs are encouraged to set up Greenfield projects in the manufacturing, services or trading sectors and activities allied to agriculture. This is made possible through entrepreneurial schemes like the Stand-Up India Scheme that promotes women entrepreneurship. Such initiatives provide a fillip for the status of women.

Personal Loan for Women

By following their dreams and meeting diversified future goals, women can carve a better life for themselves. From their dream homes to education, auto loans, financial planning for women can unfurl their ambitions and help them think big. Banks also provide personal loans to women who are either salaried or self-employed, based on a certain eligibility criteria. The interest rates are quite attractive, and the loans require minimal documentation.

Home Loan Benefits for Ladies

Helping women become independent homeowners, home loans for women extend from buying an apartment or a house to renovating an old home. Women are eligible for loans upto INR 20 crores, with a payment tenure for a maximum of 30 years. These loans come at low-interest rates and processing charges. Thanks to these features, women can get a higher loan amount with a longer repayment tenure, while enjoying the pride and joy of home ownership.

Mudra Loan for Women

The Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojana or PMMY is a loan scheme for micro and small women-led enterprises, thus bringing them under a formal financial structure. Women-led enterprises generating income through manufacturing, trading and services can benefit from this loan and scale their business. This finance for women requires no collateral and processing fee. The loans are divided into three categories - Shishu, Kishore and Tarun. Though there is no minimum loan amount in this scheme, the maximum that can be availed is INR 10 Lakhs. The interest rate is set according to the RBI guidelines.

Government Loan Schemes for Ladies

The government has created a digital portal, Jan Samarth , supporting 13 loan schemes in four different loan categories, connecting lenders with beneficiaries in Education, Agri Infrastructure, Business Activity, Livelihood and more.

Women applicants can check eligibility, directly apply online, and get automatic digital approval from 200+ lenders from selected banks. Applicants can check the real-time status of their loan approval through the government portal. Encouraging women to take affirmative and confident leaps in life, these loans will empower women’s growth.

Financial Planning for Women

Financial planning begins with opening a bank account. A women's savings account is the stepping stone to greater investment milestones. Once women start with structural financing and gain confidence in savings, they can expand to investing. However, choosing traditional low-risk investments like recurring deposits or fixed deposits is better than high-risk investments for risk-averse investors. One must not embark without complete knowledge of the investment instrument in order to make quick profits. Safer investment options like government and sovereign bonds, tax-saving public provident funds (PPF) and National pension schemes can prove to be more helpful during the later stages of life.

Retirement Plans for Women

While retirement is inevitable, women who start late with their careers may not achieve as much financial solvency as their male counterparts, because of the unfortunate but existing pay disparity. However, if the right goals are set, nothing can stop them from securing a stronger future. Retirement planning from whatever stage they begin is a pragmatic approach. Practises such as saving more and spending less, investing in places where money compounds, following a strict financial discipline, investing in health schemes, and taking the help of a financial advisor will help with financial growth and security.

Why Should You Opt for Bank of Baroda's Banking Services for Women

Bank of Baroda is a gender inclusive bank that has joined with government schemes to help women benefit from various facilities. The Baroda Mahila Shakti Savings Account and Baroda SB Self Help Group account are banking services for women specially designed to fulfil the unique requirements of female applicants. Offering higher interest rates on savings with various benefits for self-employed women, service holders, housewives, and micro to macro-level workers, these services can hugely benefit women customers of the Bank of Baroda.

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