Digital Banking and Financial Inclusion of Women Enterprises in Narok County, Kenya
Kisotu, David Melubo
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Financial inclusion is an important step in development, as access to finances can help the women to build money and lift themselves out of poverty. Lack of financial inclusion among women in Narok County is one of the many factors leading to financial exclusion and an introduction of digital banking is the remedy to its problems. Financial inclusion of women contributes immensely in empowering them. Digital banking in Kenya has been characterized by rapid technological change in the finance sector that has led to the development of mobile banking, online banking, ATMs and agency banking. The banking sector has undergone substantive transformation particularly from the year 2007. This study sought to establish the effects of digital banking and financial inclusion of Women Enterprises in Narok County, Kenya. Financial inclusion includes the provision of affordable financial services, which includes; access to payments and remittance facilities, savings, loans and insurance services by the formal financial system to those who tend to be excluded The study was anchored on finance growth theory and financial asymmetric theory. This study used descriptive research design and data was collected from the target population of all the 184 women owned enterprise in Narok County, Kenya. For this study census sampling was adopted to where all the population will be included in study since the number of target population is 184. Primary data was collected using a semi structured questionnaire to be administered to the women business owner through face to face interviews. The collected data was analysed using descriptive statistics methods; mean, mode, median, standard deviation, percentages and frequencies. Inferential statistical methods included multiple regression analysis was used to establish the relationship among variables. It was established that digital banking services significantly and positively influenced financial inclusion of women enterprises in Narok County. The study concluded that agency banking, mobile banking, online banking and ATM services significantly influenced the access and use of banking services by the locally based women enterprises in Narok County. It was further concluded that the women enterprises did not adequately use online banking due to limited literacy level, computer proficiency and internet availability. The study recommends that the available financial sector players in Narok County needs to sensitize SMEs especially women-owned to ensure that they are aware of the digital services available to be in the loop to enhance financial inclusion. The study recommends that the available digital banking providers need to improve formation of groups among the users of the services to enable improve usability. The study recommends further that the women enterprises managers and proprietors need to be in groups to develop each other and assist access, use and improve digital banking and financial inclusion.