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Gap wants global Tier I suppliers to go digital

Gap wants its Tier I suppliers – approximately 800 factories in about 30 countries – to make the transition from a cash-based system to digital payments by 2020. More than 60 per cent of Gap’s supplier factories already provide digital payments methods, such as online transfers to bank accounts or mobile wallets.

By having suppliers pay garment workers digitally, Gap aims to accelerate the transition toward a more transparent workplace for the women and men who make its clothes. Gap’s approach includes developing and delivering training around topics like communication in the workplace, problem solving, grievance handling and effective negotiations for workers and managers; measuring and improving workers’ sense of value and sense of engagement at work by helping factories make well-being investments in their workforce; consolidating and publishing its Tier I supplier base to focus on partners that share the company’s values and sustainability goals.

Women make up 80 per cent of the world’s garment industry workforce. Electronic wage payment methods have the benefit of drawing previously unbanked workers into the formal financial system, allowing women greater control over their finances and a safer way to save, send money, and invest. At the factory level, suppliers benefit from cost savings, due to increased efficiency and speed.