Sunday, 5 December, 2021

Escrow Service

BB holds Tk 390m of e-commerce customers

The escrow service of Bangladesh Bank (BB) holds around Tk 390 million due to fake claims from the customers and the closure of some scam-hit e-commerce platforms.

“We could not identify the real claimers due to lack of cooperation from the e-commerce platforms,” Mezbaul Haque, general manager at payment system department at BB, told the Daily Sun on Monday.  

Escrow is a financial tool to hold an asset or escrow money by a third party on behalf of two other parties that are in the process of completing a transaction.

The government introduced the service for the e-commerce sector to bring transparency in transactions. The BB official said there is no problem in releasing the fund to their owners.

Around Tk 390 million is stuck with the escrow services since July 1. Of the total amount, claims for which 80 million have been made from controversial platform Evaly.

 “The payment gateways are facing major problems due to the recent e-commerce scams. There is not much fund on gateway since July 1. We are also ready to release the fund immediately if the e-commerce companies cooperate,” Mezbaul added.

Earlier on Sunday, a lawyer Sabrina Jerin, on behalf of a consumer rights platform, sent legal notice addressing personals including Bangladesh Bank governor, general manager of the payment system department, commerce secretary, Nagad, bKash and SSL Wireless. Meanwhile, the government’s inter-department committee on e-commerce conducted its maiden meeting on Monday to discuss a possible way to increase ‘inter-operability among stockholders related to the business.

“We conducted the first meeting today. The 15 members of the body were asked to collect relevant information from respective regulatory bodies by this week. We will also submit a report to cabinet division next month,” AHM Shafiquzzaman, additional secretary at Ministry of Commerce, also head of the committee, told the Daily Sun.

The government also designated additional secretary Shafiquzzaman as head of the Digital Commerce Cell under the ministry of commerce for supervising the e-commerce sector.