The women formerly enrolled in the Humanitas 360 Institute’s Entrepreneurship Behind and Beyond Bars Programs took an important step towards technology access and financial independence. Each one of the Lili Cooperative members now has its own digital bank account, allowing them direct access and management of their earnings from the sale of products and from the financial assistance provided by the institute since the beginning of the pandemic. The solution offers the members autonomy and practicality.
Since April, the H360 sends a monthly allowance to women who have left the prison system and who participate in the Lili Cooperative, a way to help with expenses while the cooperative’s activities are suspended. As many of them do not have a bank account — mainly because their taxpayer registry identification has been signaled “negative” due to debt owed to the State (due to a fine, upon leaving prison) — payment was being made to the accounts of relatives or third parties indicated by them, which ended up prolonging the process of receiving the money, since they depended on other people.
As a way to standardize the payment process and offer a possibility to access digital financial management tools, the H360 proposed to the graduates the creation of personal digital bank accounts. The account is created through the bank’s application, on behalf of the member. The tool was well received by the group of women, who had the support of the program’s social worker to register on the platform and to know how to use it.
A research conducted by Fujitsu revealed that 1 in 4 Brazilians already use banks and fintechs. The opening of accounts with less bureaucracy, without fees and with the offer of financial products, are some of the advantages offered by digital banks. The digital account offers the cooperative members independence and mobility, as they will be able to make transfers free of charge, make use of credit and pay bills, all on their cellphones.
According to the H360’s operations manager, Janaína Reis, the opening of a digital account is an important step to offer technology tools in order for them to manage their business: “We increasingly want these women to have access and familiarity with technology to undertake their own autonomy journeys. From the moment we bring a digital solution, they will connect with the payment process and the resources they will access through the cooperative as owners of their own business.” The goal is that from now on all financial operations between the Lili Cooperative and the artisans will be done through this digital tool.