Transactions through mobile financial services in Bangladesh increased by more than 50% year-on-year to Tk 62,230 crore in August, according to central bank data.
It was Tk 41,403 crore the same month last year.
August’s amount, however, was down from Tk’s 66,387 crore recorded in July this year, according to the Bangladesh Bank.
MFS usage increased sharply from May of last year after the country was hit by the coronavirus pandemic as people were forced to transact on cellphones to purchase products and services and make payments to keep the rogue virus at bay.
Merchant payouts increased three times to Tk 3,465 crore in August, compared to Tk 1,062 crore in the same month last year.
Government transfers, however, fell to Tk 13.8 crore from Tk 15 crore a year ago.
Salary disbursement through MFS almost doubled to Tk 1,903 crore from Tk 1,063 crore in August last year.
Users paid utility bills amounting to Tk 1,323 crore, up from Tk 908 crore in the same month last year, while person-to-person transfers increased from Tk 12,464 crore to Tk 19,445 Tk.
Customers purchased Tk 688 crore mobile talk time in August, up from Tk 649 crore in the same month last year.
Currently, 13 banks operate MFS in Bangladesh, according to the BB.
These are Rocket of Dutch Bangla Bank Ltd, bKash of Brac Bank, MYCash of Mercantile Bank, mCash of Islami Bank Bangladesh Ltd, TAP, a joint venture of Trust Bank of Bangladesh and Axiata Digital Services of Malaysia, First Pay SureCash of First Security Islami Bank, UPAY from UCB Bank, OK Banking from One Bank, Rupali Bank SureCash, TeleCash from Southeast Bank, Islamic Wallet from Al-Arafah Islami Bank, Spot Cash from Standard Bank and Meghna Bank Tap n Pay.
In addition, Nagad Ltd, the digital finance department of the Bangladesh Post Office, also operates a mobile banking service.
Shamsuddin Haider Dalim, head of corporate communications at bKash, says MFS use has increased because almost all types of financial transactions can be done while staying at home during the pandemic.
At the same time, receive financial aid and incentives from government and private institutions, pay utility bills, perform mobile top-ups, receive remittances from abroad, pay tuition fees and buy tickets increased the volume of transactions.
“This was reflected in the overall transaction data,” said Dalim.
He said the deal amount was slightly down in August compared to July due to the post-Eid effect. Transactions generally decrease after a big festival.
Muhammad Zahidul Islam, head of public communications at Nagad, the second largest mobile money operator, said the 50% year-on-year growth in August is moderate as the industry has the opportunity to grow at a faster pace. fast.
“We have seen massive growth every month on our network. New customers are joining the MFS system every day, ”he said.
He says the pandemic has played a role in accelerating the use of the MFS system. The convenience of using the service, the easy account opening process, and the cost-effective service from Nagad have helped the company attract more users, he said.
At the end of August, the number of MFS accounts stood at 10.44 crore, up from 9.39 crore in the same month in 2020. Of these, 5.69 crore are male account holders and 4.72 crore are male account holders. female account.
There are 11.62 lakh MFS agents across the country.