Bangladesh banking goes online


Dhaka : Banks in Bangladesh have begun their first ever online operations, allowing their clients cash deposit and withdrawal facilities, foreign exchange remittances and fund transfer services.

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The formal opening was done Thursday by Atiur Rahman, governor of Bangladesh Bank, the country’s central bank. Rahman used his mobile phone to deposit Tk 2,000 ($28) at a mobile service centre in the capital.

Dutch-Bangla Bank Limited (DBBL) launched the service in collaboration with mobile phone operators Banglalink and CityCell.

Bangladesh has a fast-growing telecom network with a dozen operators, including India’s Airtel Bharti, reaching millions of subscribers.

Primarily mobile banking will provide the clients with cash deposit, cash withdrawal, utility payment, salary disbursement, foreign remittance, and fund transfer services.

Nine other banks have also been licensed by the Bangladesh Bank to introduce mobile banking, New Age said Friday.

Though the services would be faster than other forms of banking services and would include the people even of the remote areas covered by the CityCell and Banglalink networks, it would also be a little more expensive for the users.

The users will have to pay a service charge of Tk 50 for depositing Tk 5,000 and Tk 100 to withdraw the same amount of money. Taka 69 equal $1.

Any Banglalink or CityCell mobile user can register as a recipient of the service by paying a Tk10 fee to any authorised agent of the DBBL or any retailer of CityCell and Banglalink.

After registration, the users will be given a personal identification number and a check digit ranging from one to nine which will be added to his/her mobile number that will act as security measure. Every user will need his/her mobile set, check digit and PIN to make any transaction.

“Customer’s money is safe as no one can withdraw money without taking possession of the mobile set, PIN and the check digit all together,” DBBL managing director K.S. Tabrez told a press briefing.

“No one will be able to deposit unwanted money into a mobile banking account without knowing the check digit, although the mobile number is publicly known,” he added.