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Instant bank-MFS transaction swap rules announced

FE REPORT | July 10, 2024 00:00:00

A much-awaited modus operandi for transactions across mobile financial services (MFSs) and banks is now in place to enable instant money flow through a digital platform vernacularly nicknamed Binimoy.

The central bank, Bangladesh Bank (BB), rolled out Tuesday the Binimoy operating rules--nearly two years after the government launched the interoperable digital transaction platform.

Binimoy is an interoperable transaction-processing and-settlement system for digital transactions. Participants include individuals, businesses, government entities and financial institutions (FIs).

Under the rules guiding the financial technology, a user must register a Virtual ID (identity) in Binimoy in order to make transaction. A virtual ID has similar format as an email. Binimoy has 4 types of entities who can obtain Virtual IDs: user1@binimoy - an example of an individual user's Virtual ID, [email protected] - an example of a business organisation's Virtual ID, [email protected] - an example of a Financial Institution's Virtual ID and [email protected] - an example of a government organisation's Virtual ID.

As per the rules of procedure a Binimoy user can have only one virtual ID. Multiple accounts-- belonging to the same or different FIs--can be linked to a single virtual ID.

"Use of virtual ID ensures privacy by not exposing personal information such as NID, phone number or account information. Exposure of such vital personal information may lead to crimes such as identity theft, cyber-bullying, fraud, extortion etc. The receiver of funds only needs to indicate his Virtual ID to the sender," says the code of Binimoy rules.

It mentions that there are two types of financial institutions who may operate in the Binimoy network. They are direct participants who have a settlement account with the BB and indirect participants (MFS or mobile financial service, PSPs or payment service providers etc) who do not have a settlement account with the central bank.

Regarding the transaction types, the operating rules spell out that Direct Pay is the basic building block of Binimoy transactions. In a Direct-Pay transaction, a sender transfers funds into a receiver using the receiver's Virtual ID. The sender needs to input his Binimoy PIN in order to execute the transaction.

Request to Pay (RTP) is another transaction type offered under Binimoy. When a user initiates an RTP request, a notification is sent to the intended RTP receiver. The RTP receiver may do one of 3 things-- accept the request, deny the request or ignore the request.

If the RTP receiver accepts the RTP request, then a Direct-Pay transaction is initiated. If the RTP receiver rejects the request, then a notification is sent to the RTP sender--no fund transfer takes place. If the RTP receiver ignores the RTP request, the request is put in pending state until the request expires.

"A government or business entity may distribute salaries to its employees via the Binimoy portal. Binimoy validates each fund- recipient with their respective FIs. Bulk-fund-transfer instructions are sent to appropriate FIs to credit individual accounts," it says about the digital-finance operations.

Binimoy also allows any FI to set up e-commerce payment service for merchants, according to the rules.

The government launched the Binimoy platform on November 22, 2022 to facilitate money transactions across MFS, banks and payment- service providers with the aim of boosting cashless transactions in a country that relies heavily on cash.

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