Today, many factory workers in the textile supply chain are paid entirely in cash. This means unsafe, time consuming and inefficient procedures for both employees and employers. Even though the people working in our supply chain are not our own employees, we take responsibility on how our products are made and this partnership with the United Nations has great potential to improve the livelihoods of the workers.
By joining the Better Than Cash Alliance, the H&M group will encourage its suppliers to pay their workers through digital channels, such as bank accounts, cards or mobile money. Shifting to digital payments at our suppliers' factories will mean offering a faster, safer and more transparent way to receive their salary. It will also increase financial inclusion and will support women's economic independence by better control of their own income. From the suppliers' perspective, it will enhance transparency and provide more accurate data on their wage management systems.
“H&M group is taking a bold step in recognizing how cash-heavy supply chains can hinder companies from empowering their workers and increasing transparency. And, it’s inefficient. H&M group’s leadership will help inspire other companies in the industry, and beyond, to make the shift to digital payments and contribute to inclusive growth, as well as to the Sustainable Development Goals, in emerging markets.”
Dr. Ruth Goodwin-Groen, Managing Director of the Better Than Cash Alliance
Along our supply chain 1.6 million people are employed, of which 65% are women and usually with limited access to financial services. Therefore, encouraging suppliers to pay wages through digital channels to their employees could impact positively the lives of millions of people. In addition, expanding digital payments to the world's cotton supply chain - where H&M is one of the world's biggest users of organic cotton and Better Cotton - could potentially reach 250 million people.
- Information about Better Than Cash Alliance -
The Better Than Cash Alliance is a global partnership of governments, companies, and international organizations that accelerate the transition from cash to digital payments in order to reduce poverty and drive inclusive growth. The United Nations Capital Development Fund serves as the secretariat. For more info, please visit www.betterthancash.org