A baseline survey conducted by the Manusher Jonno Foundation (MJF) revealed that 99% of domestic workers in Dhaka are not interested in using mobile financial services (MFS) to avail their salary at the end of the month, as they depend heavily cash payments. .
MJF launched “Shuchona” – a pilot project supported by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation – to empower domestic workers through a formal national financial digitization system.
The results of the benchmark survey were published on Wednesday in the Cirdap conference room in the capital.
The study was conducted among 250 domestic workers and women employers in Mohammadpur, Mirpur, Goran, Keraniganj and Kamrangirchar areas of Dhaka city.
The survey revealed that 67% of domestic workers had personal mobile phones. Of these, 91% used feature phones.
Domestic work is one of the sectors in Bangladesh that employs over 10 million workers. It is one of the most disadvantaged sectors where 90% of the workers are women – having mainly migrated from rural to urban areas.
However, only 19% of domestic workers had an MFS account and 36% of them did not use these accounts at all. And those who used the accounts used them for regular monetary transactions, not to receive salaries.
As many as 92% of domestic workers cited the lack of ability to operate phones properly and the inconvenience of withdrawing cash in an emergency as the main reasons for lack of interest in switching to MFS.
On the other hand, employers are also comfortable paying domestic workers in cash. As many as 48% of employers said they did not know how to use MFS platforms, but if workers wanted to, around 81% of employers agreed to pay the cost of MFS services.
MJF recommended organizing training on the use of MFS for employers and domestic workers to make them more familiar with digital financial services. In this way, this money can be formally incorporated into the national economy.