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Telecom regulator issues new directive on mobile banking fess

downloadBangladesh Telecommunication Regulator Communication (BTRC) has issued a new directive on fees or charges for mobile banking. It has fixed charges for different amounts of transaction including the transactions of above Tk1 lakh. However, according to Bangladesh Bank guideline, the ceiling for a single transaction is Tk25,000. So, there is no scope for transacting above the ceiling, but BTRC set charges for Tk1 lakh+ transaction.

BTRC said the charge or fee could be taken up to 2% of a transaction. But Bangladesh Bank guideline says the fee or charge will be determined as per the market rate. Currently, market rate is 1.85%. “BTRC can issue their own directive for the mobile phone operators. However, the central bank guideline must be followed in financial service,??? said Asaduzzaman, a general manager of Bangladesh Bank.

“It is also mandatory to ensure that all the transactions are made within the banking network.??? BTRC on Tuesday finalised the directive which also said the mobile phone operators cannot charge except three financial services – cash in and cash out, person to person (P2P) fund transfer and any kind of utility bill payments through mobile phone networks.

The telecom regulator also initiated slab-based maximum charges for different mobile banking services offered by the mobile phone companies. The preface of the directive said the operators are charging at different rates for the same type of services in mobile banking and financial system. In some cases, the mobile operators are charging from the customers, it said. “We issued the directive mainly to standardise the mobile banking and financial service charges,??? a BTRC official told the Dhaka Tribune.

He said the rate was fixed earlier through negotiations between the banks and operators which have no standard base. “Usually the mobile banking rates were fixed through bargaining, which would affect the end-users,??? the official said. A bkash high executive said they charge 1.85% for such transactions. The directive also admitted that 1.8% charge for Tk10,001-20,000 and 1.6% for Tk20,001-30,000, 1.5% for Tk30,001-40,000, 1.4% for 40,001-50,000, 1.2% for Tk50,001-75,000 and 1% for Tk75,001-100,000.

For transaction of more than Tk100,000 and bill payments through mobile banking, the maximum charge will be Tk1,000, the directive said. For P2P fund transfer the rate will be Tk2 for transaction of up to Tk500 and Tk5 for above Tk500. The directive has also made balance and statement inquiry free of charges for the users.

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