Healthy competition in MFS market stressed

Staff Correspondent

9 May, 2021 12:00 AM printer

Experts and operators on Saturday said healthy market competition in Mobile Financial Services (MFS) can ensure better and quality service to the customers and help sustain businesses.

They made the remarks at a webinar on ‘MFS service on the Competition and Partnership perspective’, organised by Telecom Reporters' Network Bangladesh (TRNB).

Post and Telecommunication Minister Mustafa Jabbar spoke as the chief guest while Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) chairman Shyam Sunder Sikder joined as a special guest with TRNB President Rashed Mehedi in the chair.

Bangladesh Competition Commission Chairman Mofizul Islam, Former Deputy Governor of Bangladesh Bank Abul Kashem, Robi Managing Director and CEO Mahatab Uddin Ahmed, BIBM Associate Professor Mahbubur Rahman Alam, Chief Commercial Officer of bKash Mizanur Rashid, Rocket CEO Abul Kashem Md Shirin and Nagad Managing Director Tanvir Ahmed Mishuk also joined the virtual seminar.

TRNB General Secretary Samir Kumar Dey presented the

keynote paper on the occasion.

Speaking as the chief guest, Mustafa Jabbar said healthy competition needs to be ensured for its market sustainability and customer’s satisfaction.

 “Don’t create any room for monopoly as it is against the free market economy. We have to pay attention to prevent monopoly,” said the minister.

On the price setting, the minister thinks that the market determines the price in most cases. If any competitor fails to match with the market, they vanish away from the competition.

In MFS, the minister prefers setting up the maximum charge and against setting the minimum price as it is not customer friendly.

Suggesting the MFS operators to bring innovation for market viability, Mustafa Jabbar said the world and Bangladesh as well is moving towards a cashless society.

 “New technologies like blockchain, cryptocurrency is coming fast. We have to be ready to adopt these technologies in the coming days,” he added.

BTRC Chairman said that once there was a monopoly in MFS business and company like Nagad broke the MFS monopoly in the market.

 “Monopoly is always harmful. We have to welcome healthy competition,” said the BTRC chairman         

opining that there is still enough room for reducing the MFS charge.

Giving importance to market competition, Md Mofizul Islam, chairperson of Bangladesh Competition Commission (BCC) said the market will not be sustainable if completion can be ensured.

 “We have not got any complaint from the customers about the substandard service that hinders the competition of the market. But it’s our earnest responsibility to sit together with Bangladesh Bank and the Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission to settle the issues as there are huge cross-cutting points in between us about the mobile financial service,” said Islam.

bKash COO Mizanur Rashid said that they are ready to cooperate with any new decision regarding the MFS charge.

 “There is no monopoly business of MFS market right now. Service providers like Nagad, Rocket are doing very well in the market. In setting the new price, I suggest it should be market and business-friendly,” said Mizanur.

Taking the credit for bringing healthy competition in MFS, Nagad Managing Director said good competition brings innovation and ensure better service to its customers.

Tanvir Ahmed Mishuk also said higher charge keeps people away from taking mobile banking service where Nagad pays the maximum attention.

“In my view, MFS charge is still higher in Bangladesh. Here, 70 per cent profit goes to the distributors till now and the remaining 30 per cent goes to the operators, telecom companies and government,” said Rocket CEO Abul Kashem, who is also Managing Director & CEO at Dutch Bangla Bank Limited.

Price is very important and time has come to resettle the MFS price and charge, he added.