Trade documents no longer needed to open merchant accounts with banks or MFS providers
Bangladesh Bank on Monday paved the way for micro and small traders to open merchant accounts with banks and mobile financial service (MFS) providers without a trade licence, in a development that would give some serious push to the government’s financial inclusion agenda.
Though the small and micro traders, marginal sellers and service providers play a vital role in the economy, opening a merchant account with banks or MFS providers under the existing system was tough for them as it required furnishing tax identification number, value-added services registration and trade licence, said the BB notice.
As a result, people were using cash for payments to such traders and they were also using cash for their supply chains, it said.
Under the new policy, they would be able to open a merchant account with attestation from the local public representative or certification from a local professional body and NID number.
Thanks to the BB move, people would be able to pay for kitchen market commodities like fish, vegetables and other grocery items and make payments at tea stalls or to rickshaw pullers by simply scanning a QR code.
In case of MFS, retailers would be allowed to receive up to Tk 30,000 a day and up to Tk 5 lakh a month, while the monthly limit on receiving money would be Tk 3 lakh.
In the case of banks, the balance must be within Tk 10 lakh at any time and the transaction must be within Tk 10 lakh in a particular month.
The central bank also instructed all the payment service providers (PSP) to facilitate opening personal retail accounts by using their e-wallet service.
Monthly transaction limit of PSP transactions would be Tk 10 lakh while the balance in such account must not exceed Tk 5 lakh at any time.
The central bank asked the MFS operators and PSPs to take all measures to ensure security along with adopting two-factor authentication.
The move to allow micro traders to use formal banking or MFS channels for receiving small payments would lead the country building a cashless society, said Mohd Humayun Kabir, executive director of the BB.
“We welcome this move of the central bank,” said Tanvir Ahmed Mishuk, managing director of Nagad.
The decision will accelerate the financial inclusion agenda.
“Recently, Nagad has adopted the tag line of ‘everything will be done by Nagad’ and the BB’s move will help bring every entity on our platform,” he added.