Sarathi was featured in a panel discussion titled ‘Promoting Digital Finance Innovations: Way Forward’, organized by a2i and moderated by Mr. Md. Tohurul Hasan, Programme Manager, Digital Financial Service Lab, a2i. Mr. Kazi Mahfuz Mamtazur Rahman, Team Leader, Sarathi participated as a panelist and presented the project to the participants of the session. The presentation highlighted Sarathi’s work with commercial banks and Ready-Made Garments (RMG) factories to bring RMG workers, especially women, within the sphere of formal banking services. Through wage digitization, the project empowers RMG workers to conduct financial transactions as account holders and clients. The project activities and interventions are directed to find market-based and scalable solutions that address underlying constraints such as inadequate financial literacy; lack of access to formal banking services; and commercially viable business solutions for commercial banks to cater to the needs of the RMG workers. The discussion also included panelists from SHIFT SAARC and SHIFT ASEAN, UNCDF; Bangladesh Bank; Buro Bangladesh; Healthcare Information System Limited; and a2i.
Sarathi also set up a stall to showcase the project and its interventions. As a facilitator, Sarathi, in collaboration with its partner commercial banks, provides financial literacy training for factory staff, RMG workers and their communities The project also supports its partner commercial banks in establishing financial access points (ATMs, agent points, biometric POS machines, etc.) in strategic locations to enable enhanced access to banking services for the RMG workers and their family members.
At the stall, Sarathi acquainted visitors with the materials used to promote financial literacy and create awareness about the benefits of availing formal banking services among RMG workers, their families and their communities. These included a docudrama that is screened to promote awareness on banking services. A short animation on the benefits of using formal banking services, developed for the financial literacy training sessions at the RMG factories, was also screened at the stall. Visitors were able to see the flyers and posters developed with Sarathi’s partner commercial banks to disseminate information on financial products and services developed for and offered specifically to the RMG workers. Sarathi is supported by Enroute International Limited, which is a professional training design and implementation organization, in the development and implementation of its financial literacy training modules and awareness campaigns.
Sarathi- Progress through Financial Inclusion is a 30-month (January 2018- June 2020) financial inclusion project, jointly funded by MetLife Foundation and Swisscontact.