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10-15pc Eid shoppers use cards, MFSs for payment

Cashless transactions prove easy, secure


Saif Uddin | Wednesday, 13 June 2018



Transactions through debit and credit cards and mobile financial services (MFSs) have marked a significant rise ahead of the Eid-ul-Fitr, said stakeholders concerned.
Many customers prefer to pay using cards and MFSs to avail a wide range of offers made by different financial institutions, they added.
They also said the banks and other financial service providers are giving offers like price discount, instant cash back, various gifts, foreign tours, etc.
They are making the offers to promote their services in the month of Ramadan.
Besides, such cashless transactions using debit and credit cards, MFSs and smart-phone apps are also convenient and secure, they said.
The card services in the country include MasterCard, Visa and American Express.
Besides, the MFS sector is dominated by bKash and Rocket services.
The first is operated by a subsidiary of the Brac Bank Limited and the other by another subsidiary of the Dutch-Bangla Bank Limited (DBBL).
During visits to different outlets in the city's shopping malls, the FE correspondent found a good number of customers making their payments using debit and credit cards and MFSs.
Shop executives said 10 to 15 per cent of their total customers make payments through virtual cash.
Hasan Nazmul, a customer at the Bashundhara City shopping complex, said he bought a punjabi from the outlet of the fashion brand Lubnan.
He used his credit card for making payment on the punjabi to get 10 per cent discount on its total price.
"I prefer plastic money transaction as it is swift and hassle-free," he said.
"Besides, the cash discount offered by my credit card-providing bank has given me some extra benefits during this Ramadan," he added.
When contacted, MasterCard Bangladesh Country Manager Syed Mohammad Kamal said the company launches a special campaign in every Ramadan to promote their product.
The local franchise of the US-based multinational financial service provider has launched a special campaign-London Calling with MasterCard-this Ramadan.
"Starting on the first day of May, the campaign will continue until the end of this month," he said.
"Under the campaign, the top MasterCard user during this period will have the chance to travel to London (the UK) with a partner," he added.
There are also more than 100 other gift items, including various gadgets for the clients.
Those will be given to the clients depending on their points accumulated through shopping, he added.
Besides, the MasterCard users will get a discount of up to 36 per cent on the total price at different lifestyle brands and the 'buy one get one free' offer at partner restaurants.
The users can enjoy discounts at varied rates at more than 2,000 partner outlets.
Transactions through all types of cards nearly double in Ramadan, he added.
According to available data of the Bangladesh Bank, the number of credit cards in the country was 0.96 million as of March 2018.
Majharul Islam, head of cards, City Bank Limited, said the bank is offering up to 36 per cent discount at more than 100 popular retail outlets for the American Express and Citymaxx card members.
The offer started from the first day of Ramadan.
It will continue until the Eid day.
"They are also enjoying up to 20 per cent discount on purchasing items from various e-commerce merchants during this Ramadan," he further said.
Sources said the use of MFSs is also growing fast, as people from all walks of life can get easy access to the facility.
Unlike debit and credit cards, any person can get access to the MFS just by using his cell-phone, they said.
When contacted, Mohammad Zahedul Islam, deputy general manager of Bkash Limited, said they are offering the cash-back facility to the customers throughout the month of Ramadan.
"Our clients are enjoying the offer of up to 25 per cent cash-back at more than 1,500 outlets of over 100 brands, including fashion houses, e-commerce sites, gadget shops and restaurants," he said.
Both the Bkash app and cell-phone USSD code users are enjoying the offer.
In addition to giving payments, a good number of people are also using the Bkash service to send money to their close ones ahead of the Eid, he said.
"Such transactions have increased significantly in the recent times," he noted.
E-commerce sites like Daraz, Bagdoom, Ajkerdeal, Pickaboo, etc. are also offering products at discounted rates to attract customers.

saif.febd@gmail.com