The Commercial International Bank (CIB) has expanded its partnership with Mastercard and Levi Strauss & Co, to better assist factory workers with banking services. The assistance is also designed to increase their financial literacy, and provide a pathway for their inclusion in the digital economy.
The partnership, which began in 2019, includes: Mastercard; global apparel brand Levi Strauss & Co; clothing manufacturer Lotus Garments; HERproject, a non-profit dedicated to women’s empowerment in global supply chains; and the Center for Development Services (CDS), a local NGO dedicated to fostering self-determined and self-sustaining change in Egypt.
The project offers employees digital payment solutions as alternatives to cash, including CIB Payroll bank accounts, debit cards and mobile wallets. The solutions aim to empower them to use the Bank’s services safely and with ease.
CIB, in collaboration with its partners, developed and conducted training courses focused on educating the workers on the Bank’s services, products, and benefits. At the same time, the courses look to increase their knowledge and use of these digital solutions to access funds, make payments and manage their money.
The Mastercard Center for Inclusive Growth and the Levi’s Foundation also partnered with the global non-profit Business for Social Responsibility’s (BSR) HERProject, to roll out a training programme focused on supporting workers’ transition to digital.
As part of this programme, peer educators were selected to share their experiences with their co-workers, advising them on how to manage their personal finances and on the value of digital solutions.
This programme is part of Mastercard’s ongoing work to support financial inclusion. Earlier this year, the company expanded its worldwide commitment to financial inclusion, pledging to bring a total of one billion people and 50 million micro and small businesses into the digital economy by 2025.
As part of this effort, there will be a direct focus on providing 25 million female entrepreneurs with solutions that can help them grow their businesses.
“This project is CIB’s latest effort in increasing financial inclusion across all sectors and is specifically aimed at blue collar workers, often overlooked by the banking sector”, said Mohamed Farag, Deputy Chief Operating Officer at CIB Egypt, “The project has been extremely successful in offering employees Payroll accounts and mobile wallets, resulting in the transfer of thousands of employees’ cash wages to CIB Payroll accounts and mobile wallets.”
Farag added, “CIB has been supporting and contributing to the country’s direction to achieve financial inclusion by introducing market-leading innovative digital solutions.”
He also said that the Bank strives to tailor its products to suit each client segment by working closely with different communities to understand their needs and gain more insights. This comes from the Bank’s belief that the adaptation of the mass segment is not only about system capabilities, but also the value proposition which comes from direct interactions.
Magdy Hassan, Mastercard’s Country Manager for Egypt and Pakistan, said, “We’re proud to be part of this project, which aims to empower factory workers and employees with safe, secure and efficient digital payment solutions, helping them better manage their finances and increase their purchasing power.”
He added, “Mastercard is committed to ensuring that underprivileged sectors are provided the same opportunities as the rest of society, and are included and well-represented in the formal economy.”
The project comes in line with the Bank’s efforts to increase financial inclusion and help improving employees’ living standards by catering to their banking needs.
In 2019, CIB launched the “Solfa we Aman” loan, the Easy account, and the Meeza card, to provide customers with flexible banking solutions and encourage the inclusion of unbanked and under-banked segments of society into the banking sector.