Indonesian Financial Wellness Startup Wagely Launches in Bangladesh

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Oct 14, 2021

Indonesian financial wellness startup wagely announced that it has entered Bangladesh, launching with over 50,000 workers across some of the largest apparel manufacturers in the country including SQ Group, Youth Group, and Classic Composite, per a press release. Wagely helps companies to allow employees to access their “already earned but unpaid wages to reduce financial stress and boost their productivity, motivation, and retention.”

The expansion makes it Indonesia's first financial wellness platform to expand its services to Bangladesh. Wagely raised $5.6 million in funding about two months ago.

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. Wagely’s application allows workers to get paid at any day of the month, instead of waiting for month-long for salary, which helps eliminate their need to borrow, creating a significant impact on a worker's wellbeing. 

The company says allowing workers to see their earned salary in real-time provides visibility into their financial situation, motivating and helping them make responsible financial decisions. In exchange, 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 be customized to the specific needs of any employer.

With the expansion into Asia's fifth-largest country, wagely is accelerating its mission to reduce financial stress for millions of workers in Asia. The company says it has partnered with over 70 companies in two markets servicing well over 100,000 workers. In Indonesia, it has built partnerships with some of Indonesia's largest enterprises in recent months including Adaro Energy, Medco Energi, British American Tobacco, Ranch Market, Century Pharma, among several others. The company says it 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.

Managing financial worries is the number one issue in everyday life for lower- and middle-income workers in Asia. With limited options to build sustainable savings, many struggles to cover basic needs. The coronavirus pandemic has accelerated the challenge. 

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 a major impact on manufacturers. We're encouraged by the very strong demand by some of the largest Ready-Made Garment manufacturers 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.

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