New dimension in digital transactions
Published: 12:56 PM, 9 February 2021
The coronavirus situation in the country has created a new dimension in digital transactions. The country’s public and private banks have played a significant role in the increase in online reliance on financial transactions in the last few months as the banks have introduced various benefits of online banking.
According to the concerned, new technologies have been added in the banks including opening bank accounts at home, online money transfer and online shopping. Some banks have also launched new apps – which allow you to apply for a loan at home. This has accelerated financial inclusion as well as got the desired momentum in digital transactions. At the same time, the number of customers and transactions in the bank’s debit, credit and prepaid cards, internet banking and mobile banking has also increased.
The concerned authorities said financial transactions have been done without going to the bank in person following the social distance. Most of the banks have advised the customers to make transactions through digital platforms such as smart apps, ATMs and debit and credit cards by sending SMS to their mobiles. At this time, the limit of card-based transactions has also been increased. Besides, the opportunity to withdraw money from any ATM booth without a fee has increased the interest of customers in digital transactions.
According to the Bangladesh Bank, the debit card subscribers were 1,79,90,643 till February 2020. At the end of last November, that number has risen to 2,09,69,416. That means – the number of debit card subscribers has increased by about 19,08,573 in the last 9 months of Covid-19. In November, the transaction through debit card was Tk 17,332 crore.
Meanwhile, the number of credit card subscribers till February was 15,84,806 – which has increased to 16,51,518 in November. As a result, the number of credit card subscribers amid the Covid-19 situation in the country has increased by about 66,712. In November, Tk 1,434 crore were transacted through credit cards.
Till last February, there were 4,79,381 prepaid card subscribers in the country – it has increased to 6,87,718 in November. In other words, the number of prepaid card subscribers amid Covid-19 has increased by 2,08,337 in 9 months.
Besides, the number of internet banking subscribers in the country till last February was 26,05,176. At the end of November, the number has increased to 31,53,984. As a result, the number of internet banking customers during the Covid-19 pandemic has increased by 5,48,772. In November, Tk 8,188 crore were transacted in internet banking.
According to a report of Bangladesh Bank, the number of registered customers in mobile banking till February last year was 8,18,54,596 – it has increased to 9,78,37,355 in November. The number of subscribers has increased by 1,59,80,759 in these 9 months of the Covid-19 period in the country. Besides, the total transaction under this service till November was Tk 56,566.88 crore.
“Customers were being encouraged to engage in online banking after the coronavirus situation. Transactions in ATMs, CRMs, CDMs have been suggested instead of physical transactions. Besides, the limit for withdrawing money from ATMs has also been increased. As a result, people’s interest in digital transactions has increased,” said Syed Mahbubur Rahman, former chairman of the Association of Bankers Bangladesh (ABB) and MD of Mutual Trust Bank.