October 22, 2021

wagely expands into Bangladesh, to become the first and largest financial wellness platform offering Earned Wage Access (EWA) in Asia

DigitalCFO Newsroom | 13 October 2021

Photo from wagely

wagely, Indonesia’s leading financial wellness platform, today announced its entry into Bangladesh, launching with over 50,000 workers across the largest apparel manufacturers including SQ Group, Youth Group, and Classic Composite. The strategic expansion comes in just two months after wagely raised $5.6 million in funding, making it Indonesia’s first and largest financial wellness platform to expand its services to other Asian markets.

Asian workers are struggling

Managing financial worries is the number one issue in the everyday life for lower- and middle-income workers in Asia as they are struggling to cover basic needs with little to no option to build sustainable savings. With limited access to conventional financial services, many are forced to turn to illegal lenders and loan sharks when in need for emergency cash to cover unexpected expenses. With predatory interest fees and little support in increasing the financial literacy, many borrowers cannot repay their loan within the necessary time period. Incurring additional late fees that can quickly reach a multiple of the initial loan amount forcing them into a cycle of debt.

The effects on workers are long-lasting and have only been accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic, causing substantial financial stress that leads to a loss in productivity, higher absenteeism, irregular behavior, and increased turnover that severely impacts business performance.

How wagely helps workers become financially healthy

Founded in Indonesia in 2020, wagely’s financial wellness platform is centered around Earned Wage Access (EWA), the direct and affordable access to salary that has already been worked for. Replacing the costly month-long wait for salary with an application that allows workers to get paid at any day of the month eliminates the need to borrow, creating significant impact on a worker’s wellbeing. Letting workers see their earned salary in real-time moreover provides visibility into their financial situation, motivating and helping them make responsible financial decisions.

For employers, the benefits are equally impactful. Employers benefit from increased productivity, reduced turnover costs, and increased business savings by offering wagely’s financial wellness platform to workers. wagely’s plug and play platform ensures that companies do not have to change their existing processes and can customized to the specific needs of any employer.

Financial wellness for millions of Bangladesh’ workers

With the expansion into Asia’s fifth largest country, wagely is accelerating its mission to reduce financial stress for millions of workers in Asia. Tobias Fischer, CEO of wagely shared, “While Indonesia continues to be our priority in light of the country’s large blue-collar workforce that is in urgent need of fair financial services, Bangladesh represents a sizable opportunity with over 4.5M workers in the Ready-Made Garment (RMG) industry alone. Bangladesh’s workers have been severely impacted by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic resulting in increased financial stress with major impact to manufacturers. We’re encouraged by the very strong demand by some of the largest Readymade Garment manufactures to partner with us during this initial launch phase and look forward to more employers adopting the future of salary payments.”

Mr. Warisul Abid, Chief People Officer at SQ Group said, “Thanks to the rapid advancements in technology, people today can access almost anything instantaneously. Worker wages shouldn’t be different. We are thrilled to partner with wagely and allow our 18,000 employees real-time access to their salary. With wagely, our employees can now track and access their earned salary anytime between the traditional monthly pay cycle including evenings, weekends, and public holidays. Even only a few days after launch, we already witnessed the positive impact of wagely’s solution on worker productivity and motivation.”

“Offering workers real-time access to their salary and financial education is only the first step towards building financial wellness. We are on the path towards building a holistic financial wellness platform with the underlying effort to offer workers access to affordable services, that encourage financial responsibility, and provide a path towards financial stability and inclusion,” Fischer added.

Strong demand and unprecedented growth

Launched in Indonesia in 2020, wagely has grown to become Asia’s leading financial wellness platform, partnering with over 70 companies in two markets servicing well more than 100,000 workers. Having partnered with Indonesia’s largest enterprises in recent months including Adaro Energy, Medco Energi, British American Tobacco, Ranch Market, Century Pharma, among several others, wagely has seen an unprecedented growth of its worker base by 517% in Q3 2021 and is well on track to reach over 250,000 workers by mid next year.

Learn more about wagely at https://www.wagely.app/.

About wagely

wagely is the leading employee financial wellness platform in Asia that gives employees visibility into their daily earnings, instant access to earned wages, and the power to plan ahead – proven to decrease employee turnover, enhance retention, and increase business savings. Established in September 2020, wagely is now accessible in Indonesia and Bangladesh. Visit https://www.wagely.app/ for more information.

About SQ Group

SQ Group is one of the leading apparel manufacturing companies in Bangladesh. The Company operates under four business clusters: Knitwear, Lingerie, Activewear and Textiles. SQ Group has a long heritage of 25 years and is committed to maintaining a thriving work environment for its 18,000 employees. All the major manufacturing facilities of the Group enjoy LEED©️ Platinum Certifications, the highest level of distinction awarded by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC).