M&S sources a significant amount of clothing from India and has been working with suppliers and factories there for many years. 40% of the Indian population don’t have a bank account and the number is higher for women, which can make life very difficult.
From August 2012 to November 2014, we partnered with geonsanar, a social enterprise in Hyderabad, to deliver training for workers so they’re more able to manage their financial life. The project aims to increase awareness and understanding of bank accounts and savings benefits to cash paid workers, through:
-Education and training on managing money, loans, savings and payslip benefits and deductions
-Access to mobile and local community kiosks
-Working with factory management to improve payroll efficiency by paying directly into bank accounts
The training includes modules on planning finances, the importance of saving money, how to open and use a bank account, what insurance is and the benefits of having it. The training is very interactive and locally appropriate, with animated videos, presentations and posters in local languages, picture cards, role plays and group discussions.
Once the workers have completed the course they’re given an opportunity to open a bank account for themselves – these are not connected to the employers and will be accessible if the workers leave the factory.
Of all the 15,626 workers who were trained, 57% proceeded to open a bank account. By the end of the project 1,500 workers received their wages directly into their bank account. Significantly, there was a 30% increase in women having a bank account after receiving the training. We also saw a 20% increase in workers’ knowledge and understanding of the banking system and how to work a bank account.