MFS clients soar amid Covid restrictions

18 April, 2021 12:00 AM printer

MFS clients soar amid Covid restrictions

Since Covid-19 emerged, Mobile Financial Service (MFS) providers witnessed a tremendous surge in the number of customers as it added around 1.80 crore clients in 11 months from March 2020 to January 2021, taking the number of registered clients to 10.06 crore.

The central bank data show that the transaction through mobile phones was Taka 5,35,249.3 crore during the 11 months from March 2020 to January 2021 which was Taka 4,10285.5 crore during the previous 11 months from March 2019 to January 2020, reports BSS.

Bringing innovation and technological integration to the table, the country’s MFS operators are now providing different services, including sending money, cash-in, cash-out, salary disbursement, donation for the poor, stipend disbursement, remittance, payments for different government services, toll payment, credit card bill payment and insurance premiums.

Experts on the MFS observed that the peoples’ tendency towards the digital platform during the Covid period, paperless banking, simplification of the MFS services, upgrade of digital infrastructure of commercial banks and allowing utility service payments are the main factors for the growth of the MFS in Bangladesh.

They mentioned that the countrywide lockdown has become beneficial to digital banking as people became familiar with the online and mobile service payment systems, resulting in the huge growth.

Talking to BSS, Co-Founder and Managing Director of Nagad Tanvir Ahmed Mishuk said as Nagad is the fastest growing mobile financial service of this kind in the world, they are always achieving new milestones in their journey both from the customers and transaction point of view.

However, he said, in this lockdown period, people are using Nagad as their first choice for their transaction because of the cost efficacy and availability that also reflect on our transaction volume.

“Recently we are observing more than 10 percent week on week growth, which also helps us to reach a new milestone of Taka 400 crore transactions a day,” he added.

Considering the customers’ convenience, he said, “In this tough time we are offering huge cash back for mobile recharge and other payments so that people can be connected and can easily pay their bills. As we have a wide payment network and partnership with almost all the chain retails so people are ordering for their daily commodities sitting at home and easily paying bills using Nagad. We are also offering charge-free bill payments facilities and Nagad is the only financial carrier in the country that is posing digital payments for Covid-19 test fees.”

Moreover, he said, from the beginning, Nagad ensured most of the service charge free, like – send money, and fixed the market lowest cost at Taka 9.99 for Taka 1,000 cash-out for app.

“Our cost-efficient model also attracts people and that’s why we are getting a result on incremental transaction,” he added.

Head of Corporate Communication of bKash Shamsuddin Haider Dalim said the leading MFS operator bKash operates as a payment service provider that offers a broad range of digital financial services.

Amid the new challenges brought on by Covid-19, he said, people are now increasingly depending on digital solutions to adapt to the new normal, looking for simple-to-use services at one place to meet essential needs ensuring personal safety.

During the pandemic, he informed, bKash is ensuring uninterrupted services, including mobile recharge, send money, add money from banks, cash-in, cash-out, salary disbursement, offline or online merchant payment, donation for the poor, stipend disbursement, remittance and payments for different government services.

He said customers are availing mobile recharge service for all mobile operators of the country through bKash, 24/7 from anywhere.

“Especially during the pandemic, bKash mobile recharge is ensuring uninterrupted voice and data service for them while staying at home. Millions of customers regularly recharge their mobile phones as they have the facility to buy different packages from any place at any time depending on their preferences,” he added.

He said 27 banks have been integrated into the Add Money network of bKash and customers can Add Money to their bKash account from Visa and MasterCard issued in Bangladesh.