Edenred’s We Care initiative supports employees of local businesses with financial literacy workshops
Edenred advocates for community support bringing attention to the lack of financial literacy for modest-income workers in the UAE
UAE’s largest salary processing provider, Edenred reaffirms its We Care commitment to employers this April with the aim to break down barriers to financial empowerment in the UAE.
According to the MENA Financial Inclusion Report 2020, as of 2019 the financial inclusion rate stood at 20% in the MENA region. A breakdown of key categories found that 36% of the region’s population has access to financial services, while 24% have access to payments functions. Meanwhile, only 9% have access to credit and 12% to savings. In the MENA region, the UAE has the highest financial inclusion rate at 46%, followed by Bahrain at 39% and Saudi Arabia at 31%. At the same time, Morocco was found to have the lowest financial inclusion rate at only 9%, followed by Egypt at 11% and Algeria at 13%.
Since the outbreak of COVID-19, it is becoming critical for the UAE businesses to ensure financial inclusion and digital onboarding for both the banked and unbanked population, ironically more than 60% of the UAE’s current working population, especially in manufacturing, trading, F&B and construction, sits outside the traditional banking system.
Anouar Bourakkadi Idrissi, CEO of Edenred UAE commented, “Financial stress has risen to its highest level since the onset of the pandemic. COVID-19 has taken a particularly devastating toll on businesses and our economy, revealing considerable income disparities, social inequalities, and the financially precarious position employees are facing. It has also made businesses and individuals vulnerable to cybercrime, online fraud, and financial scams. “
“At Edenred UAE, we care about our community and are committed to increasing financial literacy in organisations by offering a range of extended resources to employers via our online portal and mobile app to help them deliver the best employee experience for their teams.”
According to a whitepaper issued by Mastercard’s Global Prepaid team, knowledge and trust are major hurdles in any financial transaction. Access to mobile accounts is nearly universal in the Middle East, yet the use of mobile financial services is still rare, mainly because of lack of trust. Moreover, the UAE is the second most targeted country when it comes to cybercrime, costing approximately USD $1.4 billion per year.
Recognising the lower levels of financial literacy among certain groups including in sectors such as construction, facility management, trade, transport, retail, and F&B, Edenred has taken additional measures amidst the pandemic, providing tools and resources to make it easier for the banked and underbanked population to manage their finances. This includes easy access to its C3Pay mobile app, which allows their cardholders to transact through their digital wallets securely with multiple identity authentication steps ensuring all-around safety and enhanced security features. The mobile app includes real-time balance, record of transactions, instant international money transfers, SMS subscriptions, mobile recharges, making it easy for the lower-income population to manage their finances.
To build on the initiatives launched by the UAE government to reduce the knowledge gap, Edenred has launched an awareness campaign among the unbanked target groups with its team members conducting training to customers’ employees on how to manage their finances, recognise and stop financial fraud and much more. The company’s sales team have dedicated time to visit labour camps around the UAE and conduct educational sessions on financial literacy. A WhatsApp channel has also been made available to enable employees to receive assistance instantly at any time of the day along with tips and tutorials on finance management, fraud prevention, mobile app usage, money transfers amongst other critical operations.
“The future of finance is brightest when it provides valuable services to the broadest swath of society and the economy. By supporting employees on their journey to financial literacy, companies in the UAE will benefit post-pandemic from a more engaged, healthier, and happier workforce,” added Idrissi.
According to Edenred’s 2020 data insights, more than 75% of the UAE users in manufacturing/trade and construction industries also continue to withdraw on average 80% of their salaries using their salary cards. To address these challenges, team at Edenred took up the responsibility of enhancing financial literacy for end users to make informed decisions.
“At Edenred we care and help HR departments support and empower their workforce. Our aim is to ensure that unbanked employees not only become cardholders with no minimum salary requirement and benefit from the Global Mastercard network but use digital functionalities such as contactless payments in shops or online, balance checks from their phone, international money transfers, which is a key requirement for most of the expats in the UAE and much more. A quality piece of advice can help many employees manage their finances in the smart way, allow them to dream big and be prepared for important milestones in their lives like marriage, education or purchase of a property.”
Edenred is also encouraging workplaces to promote financial literacy within its organisation, which in turn can improve retention, drive productivity, and provide employees with skills that are transferable to daily business decisions.
About Edenred UAE:
Edenred UAE is the UAE’s largest salary processing provider serving more than 6,000 companies, 2 million employees, over 10 banks and 35 financial institutions. Operating out of Dubai since 2008, Edenred remains committed to empowering the economy by simplifying payroll for businesses and improving the quality of life for employees with two intuitive products. The Edenred Payroll online portal allows companies to efficiently manage the salaries of all their employees in one place and in compliance with the Wage Protection System established by the UAE Central Bank.