Levi Strauss, VF Corp and Marks & Spencer have teamed up with Mastercard to trial a new digital payment scheme for factory workers.
Mastercard’s new hybrid digital payment scheme, being piloted in Cambodia and Egypt, will allow participating factories to deposit wages directly into their workers accounts.
Workers will then be able to access their wages with debit cards, pre-paid cards or digital wallets, reducing the risk of theft for those usually paid in cash and preventing them having to travel long distances to pay their bills.
It is also expected to help female garment workers, 75 per cent of which are understood to lack basic financial literacy.
According to Mastercard this should also improve efficiency for employers, who reportedly see a 53 per cent reduction in the time taken to count and distribute wages.
“Mastercard is an excellent partner for a pilot program like this, due to the infrastructure they have built around digital payment systems coupled with our longstanding commitment to the well-being of workers,” Levi’s vice president of sustainability Michael Kobori said.
“We look forward to seeing the outcomes of the pilot and hope this advances efforts to realize the potential of digital payments to benefit workers across apparel supply chains.”