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Women Entrepreneurs Lead the Pack to Digital Payments
Tuesday, September 4, 2018 6:35 AM

Half of small business owners expect to see a complete transition to digital payments in the next five years, and women entrepreneurs are outpacing male entrepreneurs in making the shift, according to a new Bank of America study.

The annual survey of more than 1,000 U.S. entrepreneurs found that 33 percent of women entrepreneurs use mobile devices to process digital financial transactions, compared to 26 percent of men.

Of the respondents who said they conduct business transactions on mobile devices, women business owners also lead men on accepting mobile payments from customers (71 percent of women versus 65 percent of men), issuing refunds to customers (29 percent of women versus 19 percent of men) and paying employees (19 percent of women versus 14 percent of men). Women entrepreneurs were also more likely than men to manage the hiring and social media updates for their businesses via their mobile devices.

“When it comes to small business, women entrepreneurs are at the forefront of the digital transformation,” Bank of America Managing Director and Small Business Head Sharon Miller said. “It is exciting to see how they are innovating and leveraging mobile tools to help their businesses succeed.”

Brooke Van Vleet, who is president and CEO of St. Helens Community Federal Credit Union in St. Helens, Ore., told CU Times she’s noticing the same trend in her area. The credit union has $223 million in assets and about 16,000 members.

“St. Helens Community Credit Union has been supporting local businesses through our commercial lending program for some 30 years, and I can say anecdotally that a significant number of the small business owners are women,” she said. “Having visited many such businesses here, I see that they have embraced mobile payment systems and other retail tech innovations. For example, the local, woman-owned alterations store here in town uses an automated text system to notify me when my order is ready.”

“I can’t say conclusively that this trend is gender-based. It’s a matter of efficiency that allows them to focus more on customer service,” she added. “We’re pleased, as their local credit union, to offer loans, technology, and other financial services that help our community businesses to be successful.”

Read more at Credit Union Times.