UK fintech AGAM International and international NGO, Swisscontact, have agreed a strategic alliance. Specifically, the deal aims to accelerate financial access to thousands of Ready-Made Garment (RMG) factory workers across Bangladesh.

The partnership has been agreed through Swisscontact’s ‘Sarathi – Improving Financial Health’ project in Bangladesh. The initiative brings RMG workers into formal banking services to improve their financial health.

The alliance will use an AI-technology and behavioural insights approach to credit scoring. This enables the provision of credit to a larger community, faster and more fairly than before. The partnership will positively impact RMG factory workers, enabling access to nano loans and Earned Wage Access. This is the credit provided by AGAM’s partner bank(s).

AGAM International: dynamic credit scoring technology

AGAM International’s says that its dynamic credit scoring technology lends based on character, commitment, and capability. This places responsibility directly into the hands of individuals in underserved communities. Moreover, it empowers them to gain instant access to finance without the need for prior credit history. In addition, financial education modules are included to improve a person’s understanding of risk to lead to a better credit score.

AGAM founder/ CEO, Shabnam Wazed, said: “Our partnership with Swisscontact enables it to scale the positive impact of its mission. Working alongside Swisscontact and lending institutions, we are proud to harness AI technology to make the process of lending faster and fairer, scaling financial inclusion to the millions of RMG factory workers in Bangladesh.”

AGAM International and Swisscontact – working together since 2021

Sarathi project team leader, Bipasha S. Hossain added: “We are looking forward to partnering with AGAM International. This effectively scales the impact of our work to a larger population of RMG workers and their communities.”

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This announcement is the latest development in AGAM International’s partnership with Swisscontact. The NGO previously backed AGAM International’s first successful pilot in 2021 with Bangladesh’s largest commercial bank, Prime Bank Limited.

Traditionally, RMG factory workers have been excluded from accessing emergency credit. Traditional credit-check methods fail to recognise them due to a lack of credit score. These workers are capable of repaying but are forced to access emergency credit through informal lending with extortionate interest rates.