'No other country has more mobile banking customers than Bangladesh'
Inward remittance using mobile financial services (MFS) has increased by 20.8% to Tk6.62 crore in March, compared to February’s Tk5.48 crore, according to the latest Bangladesh Bank data.
The central bank revealed the data on Wednesday that shows a total transaction through MFS also rose by 10.2% to Tk 31339.03 crore in March, from Tk28455.33 crore in February.
MFS enables consumers to obtain financial account information and conduct transactions with their financial institution using mobile banking services, and to make payments, transfer money, or pay for goods and services through mobile payments.
The banking method has been growing in popularity in Bangladesh.
At present, 18 of the 19 banks granted permission to run MFS are providing services and of these, Brac Bank’s bKash, and Dutch Bangla Bank’s Rocket, topped the list in service providing.
Former Bangladesh Bank Governor Atiur Rahman introduced MFS, saying that: “No other country has more mobile banking customers than Bangladesh.”
According to the central bank data, the daily average transaction, however, declined by 0.5% to Tk1011 crore in March, while it was Tk1016 crore in February.
The number of total transactions made in March was 181 million, while in February, 16.2 million transactions were made through mobile banking.
At the end of March the number of total MFS users reached 60.10 million, while the number of active users was 20.30 million.
However, to target rising illegal use of MFS, from February 1, 2017, the central bank brought down the daily ceiling of mobile cash-in to Tk15,000 from Tk25,000, while slashing the maximum cash-out limit to Tk10,000 from Tk25,000.
The monthly maximum cash-in limit was slashed to Tk100,000 from Tk150,000, and the maximum monthly limit on cash-out was brought down to Tk50,000 from Tk150,000.
Industry insiders said the Bangladesh Bank move hardly had any negative impacts on the overall volume of MFS transactions as users who previously used 10 SIMs for their transactions, now have 15-20 SIMs.
“That’s why the use of mobile financial services might have increased,” a senior Bangladesh Bank official told the Dhaka Tribune.