Use of mobile payment systems has seen a steep rise at Amar Ekushey Book Fair this year as book lovers increasingly shift towards mobile payment for hassle-free transactions and attractive cash-back offers.
bKash, which is one of the major sponsors of this year’s Ekushey Book Fair, has announced 10% instant cash back to its customer for purchasing books through bKash. The company also said around 350 leading publishers are accepting bKash payment at the fair. The largest mobile financial service provider in the country has been extended the same offer to its customers since 2014.
Ipay, a mobile payment service, is offering 15% cash back to their customers on book purchases from 25 publishers. A few publishers also accept credit cards of different banks for payment.
Book publishers said most of the digital payments have been made through bKash. bKash has set up a booth at the fair premises to provide services such as instant account opening, as well as cash-in and cash-out facilities.
Rubel Hasan, sociology student at Dhaka University, said:“My initial plan was to buy four books, but I ended up buying an extra one as the cash-back offer enabled me to buy more books without increasing my budget.”
Anika Islam said she bought six books with bKash for her children at the cost of Tk1,700 and received cash back of around Tk170. She then planned to buy another book with the cash back amount she received from bKash.
Commenting on the offer, Shamsuddin Haider Dalim, head of corporate communications and PR at bKash, said: “Customers effectively have to pay 32.5% less than the cover prices of the books as the cash back is applicable on top of the publishers’ 25% discount on cover prices at the fair. bKash reimburses the 10% of the book price after publisher’s discount in customers’ wallets in the form of cash back. This is a boon for the book lovers, as they can now buy more books within the limit of their budget”.
He also said the customers do not need to pay any charge while making payments through bKash.
According the bKash, only 870 customers in 2015 purchased book through bKash payment which jumped to more than 700% to 7,000 customers in 2017. Around 3,500 bkash customers have already made payment through bKash at the first week of this year’s book fair.