The garment and textile sector in India employs over 45 million workers, 60 percent of whom are women. Workers have been paid into accounts since 2017, following the government of India’s demonetization drive. However, limited support was provided to workers to use and benefit from their payroll accounts. Research conducted in 2019 found that most workers were withdrawing 100 percent of their wages on payday. 57 percent of female garment workers reported needing assistance to use an ATM, and many handed over their ATM card to others to withdraw money.
This report shares the impact of HERfinance in four garment factories which demonstrated benefits for both workers and businesses.
- Workers started using a range of financial products and services, including savings, remittances, and mobile financial services. Female workers reported an improved financial resilience and an increase in control over their wages. There also was a ripple effect, with workers sharing learning with their families and communities.
- Managers reported that increased worker financial capability to use mobile financial services to pay bills and transfer money led to a decrease in worker absenteeism. They also reported that going beyond compliance to help workers enroll in, use, and benefit from government employee state insurance (ESI) and provident funds (PF) was improving worker-manager relations.