USAID Study: Bangladeshi Mobile Banking Sector to Grow Exponentially

A recent USAID study, “Mobile Financial Services in Bangladesh”, indicates that the country’s mobile banking sector, which accounts for 8% of the all registered mobile money accounts across the globe, will continue to grow:

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MFS providers, namely BRAC’s bKash (a name synonymous with MFS), have targeted the unbanked and the under-banked. However, Abul Kashem, Dutch-Bangla Deputy Managing Director, has found that the majority of people rely on their agents’ accounts to conduct transactions instead of creating their own.

Fast facts:

  • On average, $47.44 million is transacted daily via mobile phones.
  • Of over 10 MFS providers, BRAC Bank’s bKashaccounts for more than 50% of the MFS market; Dutch-Bangla Bank for about 17%; the remaining 8+ providers for about 25%
  • Transactions made in February 2015 alone amounted to $1.42 billion or Tk 11,104 crore – with cash-in transactions accounting for $595 million, cash-out $523 million and person-to-person $265 million.
  • Between January 2013 and February 2015, the number of registered clients increased more than five-fold from 5 million to over 25 million.
  • The number of transactions has grown significantly over the past two years, from 10 million in January 2013 to just under 77 million in February 2015.
  • 82% of the study’s respondents considered mobile financial services to be safe, with the remaining 8% expressing misgivings.
  • While 61% of respondents stated that MFS saved them money due to lower transaction fees, 26% disagreed or strongly disagreed with that statement – indicating that the cost associated with mobile banking is a concern.
  • Globally, mobile money is growing at the rate of 30% per year and this rate of growth is expected to continue for the next two years and then it should become stable. The current volume of transaction is expected to double after five years.Bangladesh is in the leading position among the Southeast Asian nations in terms of MFS (Mahindra Comviva)

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