MoU between ICT Division & BGMEA for Formulating Digital Wallet for RMG Workers in Bangladesh

Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) has entered into a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with ICT Division, Ministry of Posts, Telecommunications and Information Technology, GoB regarding implementation of digital wallet for wage digitization and conducting digital transactions for RMG factory workers in Bangladesh.

State Minister for ICT Zunaid Ahmed Palak, MP attended the MoU signing ceremony as chief guest while BGMEA President Dr. Rubana Huq presided over the program held on 27 June at BGMEA conference room.

Financial inclusion in Bangladesh is highly needed to access to the full range of financial services at an affordable rate for everyone, with minimum risk through a competitive financial marketplace. The digital wallet will play an important role in promoting financial inclusion, worker benefits and social justice. It will help implement the vision of Digital Bangladesh and contribute to the socio-economic progress of the country. The readymade garments sector will act as a catalyst for promoting financial inclusion in the country.

The digital wallet will provide a vendor-neutral platform for wage digitization and digital transactions. It will facilitate interoperability with all participating financial institutions for fund access or transfer as well as cash in or cash out etc. This will help create a merchant network for providing goods and services at discounted rates. The digital wallet will ensure secured recordkeeping, financial reporting and KPIs as required.

Following benefits will be derived from creating digital wallet:-

i. Transparency of wages paid to RMG workers
ii. Financial benefits such as cashback, reward points and merchant discounts to increase the value of wages received
iii. Ability to receive funds from corporate social responsibility (CSR), social security scheme and other sources for targeted usage, such as health/medical, education, childcare etc.
iv. Ability to access and transfer funds as well as cash in/out from any participating financial institution
v. Ability to make digital payments for utility services such as electricity, gas and water
vi. Access to financial services including credit and insurance
vii. Enhanced worker safety and security by reducing cash usage

ICT Division, Ministry of Posts, Telecommunications and Information Technology, GoB will be responsible for creating and operating the Digital Wallet. BGMEA will be responsible for ensuring adoption of the Digital Wallet by RMG factories.

As this is a matter of financial inclusion, Ministry of Finance and Bangladesh Bank will directly play an important role in the regulatory part. RMG workers will be the main stakeholders of this initiative. Factory owners, value chain members of RMG sector, commercial banks, NBFIs, insurance companies, telecommunication companies etc. will also be relevant stakeholders under this financial inclusion initiative.