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Mastercard to test digital payments for garment factory workers with Levi, others

Mastercard announced a pilot plan to transition garment factory workers from cash to digital wage payments under agreements with apparel makers Levi Strauss & Co., Marks & Spencer and VF Corp., and nonprofit BSR (Business for Social Responsibility). 

Mastercard is working with its partner organizations and companies to roll out pilot programs in participating factories in Egypt and Cambodia to test hybrid digital payment systems, either using prepaid, debit cards or digital wallets, to give workers their paychecks. The workers will be able to use the cards or wallets to pay bills or send money to family members and will get training on digital financial services and financial management help as well. 

"At Mastercard our vision is to ultimately build a new ecosystem of partners — garment industry, technology, not-for-profit organizations, factories, banks — that work together to deliver social impact at scale,"Sue Kelsey, executive vice president, prepaid solutions, Mastercard, said in a press release. "It’s an important step in helping workers feel safer, be more resilient and more financially independent.”