Women emerging as a powerful consumer segment backed by strong growth, better credit profiles and lower delinquency rates

Ahead of International Woman’s Day (March 8), TransUnion CIBIL published its annual retail credit insights on women borrowers. Analysis shows rapid growth in credit uptake by women across India’s rural and urban geography. India’s estimated population of 1400* million comprises approximately 435* million adult females of which only about 54 million females are active borrowers. This data brings to the fore the huge potential of providing access to credit for women across India and empowering them while driving financial inclusion.

Insights from the analysis show that the number of women borrowers has increased at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 19% in the last 5 years, compared to a CAGR growth of 14% for male borrowers during the same period.

The share of women borrowers has increased to 29% in 2021 – up from 25% in 2016 (see Table 1 – Mapping the emergence of women in India’s retail credit market – To access the table please click on the link below). 

Credit penetration for women (percentage of borrowers to total adult population) has improved to 12% in 2021 from 6% in 2016. In terms of total outstanding retail credit1 balances, the share of women borrowers is 23%. Growth in women borrowers has remained strong despite the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic, with women borrowers showing a stronger rate of growth at 11% compared to the 6% growth rate of male borrowers through CY 2021.

Speaking on these insights, the Chief Operating Officer of TransUnion CIBIL, Ms. Harshala Chandorkar, said: “Women are making their mark and emerging as a powerful consumer segment in India’s retail credit market backed by strong growth, better credit profiles and lower delinquency rates.  With the rapid evolution in India’s credit sector, women can now more easily avail affordable credit opportunities to fulfill their primary life goals like education, home, car, entrepreneurship and also other aspirational goals like holidays, smartphones and high end consumer durables. Increasing participation of women in India’s credit market bodes well for macroeconomic indicators on financial inclusion and social development, while strengthening the pathways to achieving our economy’s five trillion INR growth objective.”

Further insights show that women borrowers have a better score distribution. As of CY 2021, 53% of women borrowers had a score of prime2 and above compared to 47% for male borrowers. The 90+ days-past-due (DPD) consumer-level delinquency rate for women borrowers’ stands at 5.2% across retail credit products compared to that of their male counterparts at 6.9%, indicating that women tend to be more disciplined borrowers.  To read the full story click on the link below.

Source: TransUnion CIBIL