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MFS deals rise 26pc in Q3 to Tk 1,535.24b

Transactions hit all-time high in July

SIDDIQUE ISLAM | November 05, 2020 00:00:00

Transactions through mobile financial services (MFS) grew by over 26 per cent in the third quarter (Q3) of 2020, as general people, businessmen and the government agencies preferred to use digital services more amid the nationwide Covid-19 pandemic.

Total MFS transaction volume rose to Tk 1,535.24 billion during the July-September period of the current calendar year, from Tk 1,214.61 billion three months before, according to the central bank's latest statistics.

It was Tk 1,232.23 billion during the January-March period of 2020.

"Digital payments are gradually becoming popular," a senior official of the Bangladesh Bank (BB) told the FE while explaining the latest trend of MFS transactions.

He also said general people, businessmen and the government agencies now prefer to make their emergency payments using MFS.

In September 2020, MFS transactions grew by 18.6 per cent to Tk 491.21 billion, from Tk 414.04 billion a month ago. It was Tk 629.99 billion in July 2020.

Official data showed that transactions through the country's 15 MFS providers hit an all-time high in July. An increasing number of people, businesses and the government agencies used MFS services then to avoid serious health hazards, caused by the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.

Excluding July, the trends of MFS transactions in August and September were normal, according to the central banker.

The expiry of tenure of the government-announced stimulus package for paying salary to the workers of export-oriented ready-made garment (RMG) sector pushed down MFS transactions in August, he explained.

But salary disbursement using such digital platforms increased by 83.8 per cent to Tk 19.55 billion in September 2020, from Tk 10.64 billion a month before.

"A good number of RMG manufacturers still prefer to clear their workers' wages using MFS," the BB official added.

Inward remittance, cash-in, cash-out and person-to-person transactions through MFS also increased in September after a falling trend in August.

"We're observing that people are becoming more interested in cashless transactions than ever, and they are trying to use MFS for their daily transactions as well," said Tanvir Ahmed Mishuk, managing director of Nagad, the country's fastest-growing MFS provider.

He also said: "July was an unusual month, when the industry saw a huge transaction volume of Tk 629.99 billion just ahead of the Eid-ul-Azha. Now we can see the real growth rate, and hopefully it will continue in the coming days also."

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