SINGAPORE - A free membership programme that offers migrant workers benefits in banking, remittances and other services was rolled out on Thursday (Feb 22).
In a joint release, the Migrant Workers' Centre (MWC) and POSB said members can look forward to savings on services that they use on a daily basis, including mobile plans and bicycle sharing.
The MWC-POSB membership - the first of its kind here for migrant workers - will be offered in two phases.
New migrant workers who have their work permit applications submitted from April 1, and whose employers have opened a POSB bank account for them, will be issued an ATM card that automatically doubles as a membership card.
By the fourth quarter of this year, existing migrant workers with POSB bank accounts can sign up for membership through the POSB Jolly app and be issued a digital membership card.
MWC and POSB said up to 200,000 migrant workers could benefit in the first year of the membership programme, which was announced by NTUC secretary-general Chan Chun Sing on Thursday.
There were 975,800 work permit holders in Singapore as of June 2017, including foreign domestic workers, who are not eligible for the membership scheme.
The programme builds on the existing Work Pass Application system that gives employers the option to open POSB bank accounts for their workers when they apply for their work permits. MWC hopes more employers will open bank accounts for their workers into which they pay salaries electronically.
Members can use online banking services through the POSB Jolly app. They can also send money back home, through a remittance service tie-up between POSB and money transfer firm Moneygram, or with other partner agencies under the membership programme.
Other perks include a new insurance scheme, available to members under NTUC Income to protect them against serious injury or death not arising from work.
There will also be offers from StarHub on data, talk-time and product bundles, as well as discounts on airfares and seasonal package offers from participating travel agencies.
MWC has also roped in bicycle sharing operator oBike, to provide discounts and seasonal offers.
Said Mr Chan: "We have managed to pull together a network to provide them with a one-stop service - the kind of services they can access once they reach Singapore such as travel insurance, remittance, telcos. These are all essential services that will help them settle into Singapore, and give them peace of mind."
MWC chairman Yeo Guat Kwang said the membership programme is part of ongoing efforts to improve the work and living conditions of migrant workers in Singapore.
He added that MWC will target newly arrived migrant workers first.
The centre will subsequently visit dormitories, recreation centres and areas where workers congregate in September, to help the 500,000 workers who already have POSB accounts sign up for the membership programme.