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November 17, 2022

BGMEA digitises RMG wages with pre-paid cards

In a further move to digitalise wages for garment workers, a collaboration between Mastercard and the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) has seen the launch of pre-paid bank cards.

By Shemona Safaya

The Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) and Mastercard, in partnership with Southeast Bank Ltd, have launched exclusive credit and pre-paid card services to provide “more convenient, safer and smarter options” than cash for workers.

The announcement was made yesterday (16 November) at the Made in Bangladesh Week’s event taking place in Dhaka, where Just Style is reporting live from this week.

The BGMEA said this is its “first-ever” co-branded Mastercard for members and prepaid debit cards for garment workers.

As per the announcement, the world credit card has been designed exclusively for BGMEA’s executives, while the pre-paid cards are for RMG workers.

Earlier in 2020, Bangladesh was 90% closer to its target of paying its garment workers through the bKash digital wage system by 2021.

Launched in 2011, bKash was a joint venture of BRAC Bank, US-based Money In Motion, the International Finance Corporation, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and Ant Financial. It operated as a payment service provider offering a broad range of digital financial services under the regulation of Bangladesh Bank.

In a recent move, the UN Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) together with Asia’s financial wellness platform Wagely and a consortium of QuizRR and Ulula committed US$556,000 to improve the financial and digital inclusion of RMG workers in Bangladesh this May.

UNCDF’s work in Bangladesh is part of the global ‘Leaving No One Behind in the Digital Era’ strategy, which aims to equip millions of people by 2024 to use innovative digital services in their daily lives that will empower them and contribute to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.

The current collaborative launch of Mastercard and BGMEA brings Bangladesh a step closer in its aim of building financial and digital literacy skills amongst RMG sector workers.

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