Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association president Rubana Huq on Tuesday said that the wage payment system of RMG workers was going to be digitised soon.
‘RMG workers will receive their wages under the digitised system. We are going to sign a memorandum of understanding with the ICT ministry on June 27 to introduce mobile banking ‘E-wallet for RMG workers’, she said.
The BGMEA chief was speaking at a knowledge-sharing event on creating the business case of ‘MFS-Based Wage Digitisation in the RMG Sector’ organised by the International Finance Corporation at a city hotel.
There has stark gender gap in access to financial services in Bangladesh as only 36 per cent of the country’s women have a formal bank account against 65 per cent of men, speakers said at the event.
Given the economic significance of the readymade garment sector, which is dominated by female workers, digitising wage payments through MFS can have a significant impact on women’s financial inclusion, they said.
When garments workers open MFS accounts to receive their salaries, they can avail a broad range of financial services, they said.
However, about 90 per cent of factories pay their workers in cash, which is a missed opportunity for both the financial and RMG sectors, speakers said.
Rubana urged country’s all the mobile financial service providers like BKash to come forward to join the ‘E-Wallet for RMG Workers’ platform.
She said their main challenge was to implement the wage digitisation process in all the garment factories.
‘IFC is proud to engage with the private sector and leverage our international expertise in improving women’s access to financial services,’ said IFC senior country officer Nuzhat Anwar.
Through IFC’s initiative, over 70,000 female workers benefitted from digital wage payments to their mobile financial services accounts between 2016 and 2018, and they can now use their accounts to send money, build savings and make payments securely.
Bangladesh Bank deputy general manager Masuma Sultana, IFC senior financial sector specialist Ananya Wahid Kader, Marks and Spencer country manager in Bangladesh and Myanmar Shwapna Bhowmick, Stylecraft Ltd director Sharif Almas Rahman and ABA Group chairman Md Sajjadur Rahman Mridha, among others, were present.
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