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Monday, May 20, 2024

Guardian Malaysia Partners with Paywatch to provide Earned Wage Access as part of DFI Retail Group's ESG initiatives

Guardian Malaysia Partners with Paywatch to provide Earned Wage Access as part of DFI Retail Group's ESG initiatives

Caption: The Guardian People & Culture Team, Yonson Wong, People Services Head of Guardian Malaysia and Brunei (3rd from left) with Paywatch Team

Kuala Lumpur, 20 May 2024: Guardian, Malaysia’s leading health, beauty, and personal care chain, has enhanced their employee benefits programme through the adoption of an earned wage access (EWA), also known as on-demand pay (ODP), solution for eligible team members across over 600 outlets nationwide. Powered by Paywatch, Asia’s largest enterprise EWA solution, the move is part of guardian’s larger commitment to strengthen its employer branding and position as an employer of choice in Malaysia.

Guardian is part of the DFI Retail Group, a leading pan-Asian retailer with more than 210,000 employees operating prolific brands like Mannings, Cold Storage, CS Fresh, 7-Eleven, IKEA, Maxim’s and Wellcome, and is a member of the Jardine Matheson Group, a Global Fortune 500 company. This ODP programme with Paywatch was initiated by the DFI Retail Group and is being evaluated for expansion across other brands in multiple countries in Southeast Asia.

Voluntary attrition rates across all industries in Malaysia rose to 16.2 per cent in 2023 from 14.9 per cent in 2022. With fundamental shifts in the modern workplace and as businesses navigate ongoing challenges, many companies are assessing how to embrace and leverage flexibility to build a more productive and engaged workforce.

Teaming up with Paywatch, Guardian will deploy the ODP solution to more than 4,400 team members in Malaysia. This employee wellness enhancement enables Guardian team members to have on-demand access to a portion of their earned wages when needed, before their scheduled payday, reducing the need for team members to rely on payday in an emergency or unforeseen circumstances. This on-demand access is to team member’s earned wages, and as such are not loans, so there are no hidden charges or any interest incurred. Since the launch of the initiative on 2 April, over 50% of eligible team members have enrolled for the programme, and team member feedback has been largely positive.

“Delivering customer satisfaction by providing great value is at the heart of everything we do at Guardian Malaysia, and this requires a fully engaged workforce. We continually look for new ways to support our team members, and financial flexibility is an area where we can help team members meet the demands of their personal lives. With Paywatch ODP, we look forward to enhancing our positive work environment by cultivating greater financial wellness amongst our team members and better supporting them through personal financial challenges that may arise,” said Priscilla Wu, Managing Director, Guardian Malaysia & Brunei.

A direct-to-business EWA solution, Paywatch is the first bank-backed EWA player in the region and is powered by top financial institutions such as UOB, OCBC Bank, and Hana Bank. Paywatch is endorsed by multiple regulators and institutions such as the Securities and Exchange Commission, BSP, UNCDF, and Korea Financial Supervisory Service. To date, Paywatch has signed up more than 300 businesses in Asia; to name a few in Malaysia, Lotus's and Jaya Grocer.

“Emergencies and unforeseen circumstances often induce financial pressure and this is exacerbated amongst employees who have little or no access to credit or savings. Paywatch is a solution that takes a complete approach to wage flexibility - our platform provides employees with a helpful tool in times of need and also financial education resources to help them better money management skills and knowledge so they can build financial resilience. As part of a larger ESG programme, these tools help create a more financially sustainable environment for both companies and employees and our data show that EWA users are three times more likely to stay on their jobs compared to non-EWA users.,” said Alex Kim, Co-founder and President of Paywatch.

About Guardian

Guardian Malaysia started as a 200-sqft pharmaceutical retail outlet catering to the expatriate community 56 years ago. Today, it is the leading pharmacy, health and beauty retail chain in the country, with more than 600 stores nationwide, providing an unrivalled variety of pharmaceutical, health and beauty products. Each year, our stores serve more than 30 million customers across the country.

About Paywatch

Paywatch is the only earned wage access (EWA) service provider backed by major banks and recognised by the United Nations Capital Development Fund, Central Banks and regulators for its commitment to financial access and ESG. Working with top banks and employers in each of its markets, Paywatch serves as a bridge to help employees get banked, start getting credit the right way and find financial security. Paywatch operates in Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines, South Korea, and Hong Kong.




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