The cash-out for every Tk 1,000 withdrawn for Nagad app users would be Tk 9.99, down from Tk 12.99
Nagad on Thursday announced Tk 9.99 as cash withdrawal charge, the lowest amongst the mobile financial service (MFS) provider, as the industry’s newest entrant looks to grab a bigger slice of the growing pie.
“We have always been against high cash-out charges,” said Tanvir Ahmed Mishuk, managing director of Nagad, at an event to announce the new lower charge.
Industry leader bKash, which has an 80 per cent share of the market, charges Tk18.50 on withdrawal of Tk 1,000.
“We think that the cash-out charge of Tk 20 per Tk 1,000, which has been prevalent for the last decade, is an injustice to customers. That is why Nagad has been offering the lowest cash-out charge to customers since its inception.”
Mishuk subsequently urged the government to fix a maximum cash withdrawal charge for all MFS providers.
Now, the cash-out for every Tk 1,000 withdrawn for Nagad app users would be Tk 9.99, down from Tk 12.99, according to a press release. Previously, the Tk 9.99 charge was applied on withdrawals upwards of Tk 2,100.
For customers who rely on the mobile phone’s Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD) facility, the charge will be Tk 12.99.
A 15 per cent value-added tax will be applicable in both cases.
Nagad’s price cut comes at a time when the platform is gaining in popularity, thanks to the pandemic, which has compelled people to opt for digital payment in their bid to steer clear of the health risks coronavirus poses.
Transactions through the mobile financial services platform soared 38.6 per cent year-on-year to Tk 49,121.1 crore in September.
September’s figure, which is up 18.6 per cent from a month earlier, is the second-highest since MFS was introduced nearly a decade ago.
While the platform has always been popular among the unbanked population for sending and receiving money, it has turned out to be particularly handy in making payment at a point-of-sale terminal, salary disbursement and utility bill payment during the pandemic.
In September, merchant payment through the channel stood at Tk 1,292.5 crore -- the highest yet. It hovered below Tk 600 crore until June, when the economy was reopened.
The platform, which allows contactless payment by way of QR code, then particularly became convenient to make payment at POS terminals in the time of coronavirus, which lingers on surfaces for hours.
From July, merchant payment through MFS has been exceeding the Tk 1,000 crore-mark.
Also at the event yesterday, Telecom Minister Mustafa Jabbar said the government would soon spin offNagad as an independent company to fulfil the requirements of the Bangladesh Bank to get the full-fledged MFS licence.
At present, Nagad is a state-owned company.
Under the new arrangement, which would take effect by March 2021, Nagad would be 51 per cent owned by the Bangladesh Post Office and 49 per cent by Third Wave Technologies, a private entity.