Widening the net

Increased usage of MFSs is considered a means of alleviating poverty and widening financial inclusion.

The incumbent administration’s Digital Bangladesh initiative has clearly paid.

Dividends for Bangladesh in numerous ways widening the net.

One of the more obvious ones being our steady march towards becoming a cashless society.

However, it appears not everyone is yet on board with this idea, by no fault of their own.

A baseline survey conducted by Manusher Jonno Foundation recently found that workers in the informal sector.

Mainly women hired as domestic workers in households.

Are reluctant in using mobile financial services to collect their salaries at the end of the month.

There are more than 10 million domestic workers in Bangladesh 90% of them being women.

And is the most deprived of sections when it comes to those employed.

Given just how vulnerable this section is being paid digitally.

Would reduce a lot of the risks associated with being paid in cash.

In the survey it was found that employers are willing to cover the usual costs of transactions.

Carried out through MFSs if the workers were onboard with being paid that way.

But given the fact that these workers and, a lot of the times, even the employers themselves.

Don’t know how to operate such services and applications.

With many of them lacking the devices as well

The point becomes somewhat moot.

To that end training is of paramount importance for both employers.

And domestic workers to make them more habituated to digital financial services.

Increased usage of MFSs is considered a means of alleviating poverty and widening financial inclusion.

With even the government switching to digital systems in order to disburse social safety net funds.

And the inflow of foreign investment.

There is reason to be hopeful that the vision of a truly Digital Bangladesh will come to fruition in the near future.

And it is imperative that it happens in an equitable and inclusive manner that benefits all Bangladeshis.

Regardless of their socioeconomic status and location.

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