Bangladesh’s RMG sector consists of 45% of the total workforce and contributes to 13% of the total GDP. 90% of the value of salaries are paid in cash and wages form 27% of the total value of payments made in Bangladesh, notable losses are incurred at these factories each year through this inefficient and opaque means of disbursement. Sarathi has observed that wage digitization helps RMG factories achieve improved efficiency through reduced transaction costs, higher productivity through faster transactions, and more transparent business management while promoting financial inclusion of RMG workers. RMG workers, despite their numbers, generally remain outside the purview of formal financial services, and Sarathi helps facilitate these services for this segment by working with partner commercial banks and RMG factories.
Sarathi- Progress through Financial Inclusion is a 36-month (January 2018- December 2020) financial inclusion project, jointly funded by MetLife Foundation and Swisscontact, and is working 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 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 project targets are to:
The project results as of October 2019:
January 2018 - December 2020
Swiss Foundation for Technical Cooperation
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