Expanding financial inclusion of low-income workers in global supply chains

HERfinance is supporting employers to responsibly digitize wage payments for low-income workers in global supply chains.

Nearly two billion adults globally do not use formal financial services to save or borrow money, and women disproportionately lack access and control over financial resources. As a result of their financial exclusion, the world’s poor are often unable to break the vicious cycle of poverty.


1.7 billion of the world’s adults do not use formal financial services.


39% of women in India are less likely than men to have a bank account.

Ensuring the poor—particularly women—have the proper knowledge, skills, and attitudes toward financial services, and enabling them to participate in the formal financial sector, has significant benefits:

  • It allows individuals to save for emergencies and build resilience to economic shocks, such as illness or loss of employment
  • It empowers women to influence financial decision-making, which shifts household spending patterns in ways that benefit children and families
  • It enables low-income adults to invest in economic opportunities
  • It supports investments in health and education

Focus Areas

HERfinance™ is based on the standard HERproject activities, with the following focus areas:

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Guidance on financial planning, budgeting, and savings to improve resilience to economic shocks

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Knowledge and confidence-building to enable women to take control over their finances

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Awareness raising on benefits of formal vs. informal financial services

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Middle management training on administering digital payroll

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Strengthening Management Systems

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Conversion of payroll from cash to digital to support financial inclusion of employees

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Integration of financial education into new hire onboarding training

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Linkages to local financial services providers

Wage Digitization

230 million unbanked adults globally receive their private-sector wages in cash.

However, cash is:

  • Risky: Employers face the risk of theft or fraud in the transportation and distribution of cash wages.
  • Inefficient: Workers must often stand in line to receive cash wages, which cuts into their productive or personal time.
  • Disempowering: Women have less control over their wages when they are paid in cash.

BSR is therefore partnering with supporters to digitize wage payments for low-income workers in global supply chains.

  • We work directly with employers to support their transition from cash to digital payroll, allowing workers to receive their wages instantly and transparently into a formal account.
  • We provide factory management and workers with training based on the HERfinance methodology to ease their transition to digital wages.

Learn More

In the past, when we received our salary in cash, I used to face a lot of problems. I share the house, so I didn’t know where to keep my money safely.

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Featured Story

The HERfinance training has really helped me a lot. One of the benefits I have gained is self-confidence, and I now believe that I can save for the long-term needs of my children.

My eldest daughter is very smart, and we are saving for her so she can become a doctor. After the training we started planning exactly how much we have to save each month to educate her and all our children, and we are actually meeting that goal. We have already put aside Rs. 25,000 until now for that purpose.

One of my life’s goals is not only to learn how to plan for the future, but to share this information with others so they can benefit from it as much as we have.