This is the direction we hope all sectors embrace
The Covid-19 pandemic has brought death and destruction -- collapsing economies and changing how we live and interact with one another. However, there were some positive changes that emerged as a result of the pandemic and restricting social gatherings.
One such positive change was seen in the increased use of mobile financial services (MFS) in Bangladesh, not just for everyday transactions such as shopping for groceries, but increasingly, for paying utility bills.
This has been a welcome step in the right direction for Bangladesh; long, frustrating queues were the norm as people had to wait for hours in line so that they could pay their utility bills, and eliminating this has certainly made life easier for the citizens of Bangladesh, who can now pay their bills from the comforts of their home through their preferred MFS provider.
According to Bangladesh Bank data, paying utility service bills through MFS began in September 2013, when the monthly payment was only about Tk78 lakh, but as of November last year, the figure stood at Tk831 crore.
In addition, it also eliminates other issues, such as needing to visit a bank during operating hours, eliminating inconveniences regarding change, and perhaps most importantly, bringing transparency and reducing corruption in bill collection.
Indeed, this is testament to the tireless work of the stakeholders and those responsible for the growth of this sector. Credit, therefore, must be given to the MFS providers for increasing their capacity, so as to minimize hassle for customers while simultaneously allowing them more avenues to explore, as far as digital payments go.
This is the direction we hope all sectors embrace, so that we may soon realize the dream of Digital Bangladesh.