In 2009, the UAE government created the Wages Protection System (WPS) to safeguard the rights of millions of workers within the country. This electronic salary transfer system stipulates employers pay their workers via a bank account at least once a month, helping them better access and control their money. But the WPS offers many advantages for employers, too.
Firstly, it lessens the chance of wage disputes, with clear records of how much employees have been paid, as well as when payments were made.
Secondly, digital banking streamlines your payroll activities. The necessary online banking involved allows you to pay staff more quickly and easily than when transferring money manually.
But online banking and digital banking are not the same thing. When companies use digital banking solutions for their payments, employees and employers alike can access even more benefits.
What is digital banking?
Online banking and digital banking both make banking convenient. But there are levels of convenience, with digital banking offering more simplified processes. The benefits of digital banking include:
Online banking enables people to access everyday banking services such as standard account deposits and bill payments through an internet connection. Digital banking, however, offers these functions along with more advanced tools that enable users to apply for loans and cards, get comprehensive statements, and seek advice.
When people use a digital banking solution, they have access to a personalised banking experience. Intelligent applications can help users track spending and identify their habits, then make better financial decisions. NOW Money will even provide the materials to enable employers to educate workers on money matters with financial literacy training on-site.
More than 200 nationalities live and work in the UAE. And while most employees will have a good working knowledge of Arabic and English, not everyone will be fluent. That’s why forward-thinking banking providers cater to this diverse user base, offering their tools and support in a variety of languages.
The benefits of digital banking to migrant workers
Migrants make up 88% of the UAE’s population, according to data from the UN. This means that the majority of your workforce likely have financial concerns and difficulties that don’t apply to native-born Emerati:
- While their wages meet UAE cost of living standards, they may not be high enough to qualify for an account in some of the more prominent UAE banks.
- They may be sending money back to family members in their home country, putting them at risk of high transactional fees.
- As non-native citizens, they might lack in-depth knowledge of the UAE economy. As such, they may need help with financial decisions.
But when employees have access to digital banking, these problems may no longer apply.
This is because digital banking drives financial inclusion. And this means your workers could have access to the services, tools, and information that will help them better manage their pay. In fact, the right digital banking provider will issue employees with an account and contactless card, regardless of how much they earn. Furthermore, it will partner with various money transfer organisations to ensure that everyone gets a fair exchange rate when sending money home.
Financial inclusion enables eight of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals. As an employer, offering your workers a digital banking solution helps you work towards the goal of equality for all. It’s also worth considering that when companies take up this baton, the more investment opportunities they’re likely to receive.
But in the pursuit of this goal, there are more immediate rewards your company can reap.
Why your company should offer a digital banking solution
“The business case for improving employees’ financial health is clear: Those who experience money worries are more prone to absence from work. Financial distress can also lead to presenteeism, in which employees attend work but, because of health problems or other personal issues, don’t perform to their usual standards.” – The Chartered Institute for Personnel and Development
Anyone who has ever experienced financial concerns knows the looming dread it can cause. Migrant workers may experience this at a deeper level, with the need to make their incomes stretch as far as possible to support family members who remain in their home countries.
Adopting a digital banking solution for your employees will drive financial inclusion. And this will result in several benefits:
A more productive workforce
Economists at the University of Warwick carried out experiments to test the impact of happiness on workers’ outputs. Their research concluded that happy employees are in fact around 12% more productive.
On the other hand, employees who experience financial difficulty can feel overwhelmed, unmotivated, and disillusioned with their jobs. This can contribute to anxiety, stress, and burnout, which in turn can affect attendance and even retention.
A better staff retention rate
Take the hospitality industry in the UAE, as an example. Research shows that its high employee turnover rate is mostly due to poor wage benefits, work–life imbalance, and low employee motivation.
A digital banking solution that drives financial inclusion can help employees better manage their money. And this means they can work less hours, but at a more productive rate. These factors will make them more likely to stay on at your company. And they’ll want to tell people why.
A positive brand image
Your employees are your best assets—and not only in capacity of their specific roles. They can also act as brand ambassadors, communicating their positive experience of your company.
If you’re hiring, this will go some way in attracting other quality employees. And if you’re in the business of providing services directly to consumers or businesses, it will boost your overall brand image.
Of course, there’s the flipside: Employees who have a negative experience talk too. It goes to follow that people looking for work are less likely to want to join companies that don’t prioritise their employees’ wellbeing—financial or otherwise. And customers who value a positive employer brand will also go elsewhere.
How NOW Money works for you and your employees
There are a lot of digital banking solutions out there that promise the moon and the stars. And to be fair, many of them provide streamlined processes and services designed with companies in mind.
But not all of them think about employees—or how their digital access and financial inclusion affects you.
When you use NOW Money to pay your employees, you give them access to the following:
- A digital bank account, as well as a contactless card for more efficient payments
- Intelligent banking tools for better visibility over spending habits, and guidance for budgeting
- Services in 11 languages, so they fully understand our comprehensive advice
All this will help you keep your workforce happy and engaged so you can retain them for longer.