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Pathao looks to launch mobile wallet

May 05, 2018 00:00:00

Pathao, a ride-hailing app in Bangladesh, plans to launch its own mobile wallet next year to reduce consumer reliance on cash payments, reports CNBC.

"Payments is a big challenge. Bangladesh is a cash-based economy and most of the transactions happen over cash," Pathao's CEO and co-founder, Hussain Elius, told CNBC's 'Street Signs' recently.

"However, we are very excited to move into the e-transaction space and just next year, we are launching our own wallet," he said, adding that switching to e-payments would take time as people are "still very attached to cash."

The sluggish pace of mobile banking in Bangladesh is also due to a stark urban-rural divide. Of its 165 million inhabitants, more than 70 per cent live in rural areas where there are little to no basic banking services.

Other factors include changing regulations and slow adoption of new payment methods. Payments, therefore, are still predominantly made in cash despite government initiatives to boost mobile financial services.

Pathao, the first mover in the motorcycle-taxi industry, has made inroads in tackling Bangladesh's commuting problems.

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