Dhaka, June 25 (UNB) – President of Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) Rubana Huq on Tuesday said the wage payment system of RMG workers is going to be digitised soon.
“RMG workers will receive their wages under the digitised system. We’re going to sign a memorandum of understanding (MoU) 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 (IFC) at a city hotel.
She said the aim of the digitising the payment method is to fulfill government’s goal to go for a ‘Cashless Bangladesh’.
Rubana urged country’s mobile financial service providers such as bKash to come forward to join the ‘E-Wallet for RMG Workers’ platform.
“Our main goal is to build digital Bangladesh. So, we hope our goal will be implemented overcoming all bureaucratic complexities,” she said.
The BGMEA president said their main challenge is now to implement the wage digitisation process at garment factories.
There is, however, a stark gender gap in accessing financial services in Bangladesh, where only 36 percent women have a formal bank accounts compared to 65 percent men, the speakers noted.
Digitised wage payment system through Mobile Financial Services (MFS) will provide a broad range service to the women and have a significant impact on financial inclusion of the country’s women, they said.
About 90 percent factories pay their workers in cash, which is a missed opportunity for both the financial and RMG sectors, the speakers said.
“IFC is proud to engage with the private sector and leverage our international expertise in improving women’s access to financial services. This engagement demonstrates how our approach can benefit all stakeholders in the garment sector’s ecosystem,” said Nuzhat Anwar, senior country officer of IFC.
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.
Deputy General Manager of Bangladesh Bank Masuma Sultana said that Bangladesh Bank has worked to ensure the financial services for underserved segments, such as women.
Ananya Wahid Kader, senior financial sector specialist of IFC; Shwapna Bhowmick, country manager of Bangladesh and Myanmar of Marks and Spencer; Sharif Almas Rahman, Director of Stylecraft Ltd; and Md Sajjadur Rahman Mridha, chairman of ABA Group, expressed their views.
Besides, Mizanur Rashid, chief commercial officer of bKash, and Takreem Riwan Siddiqui, consultant of IFC, also spoke at the event.