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Mobile banking clients cross 1.5cr-mark in Bangladesh

20120926-bikash-460The number of mobile banking customers has crossed 1.5 crore-mark for the first time in the country. The number of clients under mobile financial services stood at 1.5 crore in March increasing by 4 lakh from the previous month, Bangladesh Bank said in a statement yesterday(23 April 2014).

Earlier, the number of mobile banking clients crossed the milestone of 1 crore in November last year.

The number of transactions increased by about 15% to 3.34 crore and financial transaction increased by over 20% to Tk7,849 crore in March from the previous month.

Currently, seven types of mobile financial service are being provided including inward remittance, cash in transaction, cash out transaction, P2P transaction, salary disbursement, utility bills payment, said the statement.

The growth rate of two types of services – Cash In and Cash Out – grew mostly among the other services due to growing popularity.

The mobile baking services, launched in the country in 2011 under the mobile financial service guidelines, provides the much needed financial access to the poor and unbanked population across the country.

Access to the formal banking system is very limited in Bangladesh as only 15% of the 160m people have the bank accounts. However, the 110m mobile phone users in the country are fuelling the expansion of mobile financial services.

To make mobile banking popular, the central bank allowed mobile financial service in Bangladesh and granted licences to 28 banks to launch the service. So far, 18 banks have started providing mobile financial service while bkash Limited, a BRAC bank subsidiary, and Dutch Bangla Mobile Banking Limited are leading the sector.

Dutch Bangla Bank first launched the mobile financial service in March 2011, followed by bKash, a joint venture of BRAC Bank and Money in Motion LLC, a US mobile financial service company.

Later in April 2013, International Finance Corporation, the private sector investment arm of the World Bank Group became an equity partner of bKash.

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Source: Dhaka Tribune

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