The financial inclusion in Bangladesh covers 50 percent of the entire population
The use of mobile wallets in the garment sector, can accelerate the trend of wage digitization and help women's financial inclusion in the country.
The statement came from a roundtable discussion organised recently in the capital by Women's World Banking, a global authority on financial inclusion of low income women in developing countries, said a press release.
Quoting the Global Findex, it was said in the meeting that financial inclusion in Bangladesh covers 50 percent of the entire population.
However, the growth among the women users did not see the same upward trajectory, as men are twice as likely as women to own a mobile phone, the press release said.
The wage digitization could help millions of garment workers, many of whom are women, join the growing financial network in the country. It also offers opportunities for factory owners to boost efficiencies in their payroll systems.
However, despite the advantages of digital wage payment, women still find it difficult to use this service due to many barriers that include their low access to mobile technology, lack of digital and financial literacy and a low level of trust on and familiarity with digital payments.
"Wage digitization is a facility that offers a broad range of financial services to low income women. It allows them to gain more financial stability, and meet their family's every-day needs," said Diana Gooley, manager of digital financial services at the Women's World Banking.
Women's World Banking has already signed an agreement with Dutch-Bangla Bank (DBBL) to use its mobile wallet service 'Rocket' with a view to minimise the challenges of digital wage distribution for the garment workers, speakers at the meeting revealed.
The lack of digital literacy and the understanding of the benefits of mobile financial services as the key obstacles among users. It was also said that brand promoters and peer ambassadors have to be engaged in the factories to teach workers how to use wallets.
"Wage digitization has tremendous potentials to give millions of low-income women efficient financial services. Wages go straight to their mobile wallets at a lower cost, and they also would be able to carry out other transactions more securely," Gooley said.
"For factory owners, digitization reduces the cash handling costs, and can eliminate time wastage by removing workers' queue for cash on paydays,'' she added.
Women's World Banking designs and invests in the financial solutions, institutions and policy environments in the emerging markets to create greater economic stability and prosperity for women, their families, and their communities, the press release said.
Having 55 partners in 32 countries, Women's World Banking serves more than 30 million women clients, through its market-driven solutions.