In an effort to contribute to the digitisation of Bangladesh's economy, MasterCard and Mutual Trust Bank have achieved a milestone by jointly launching BanglaQR, an interoperable quick response (QR) payment solution.
Ahmed Jamal, deputy governor of the Bangladesh Bank, on Sunday inaugurated the service as the chief guest at an event jointly organised by MasterCard and Mutual Trust Bank at the InterContinental Dhaka.
BanglaQR, as termed by the central bank, will allow users of MasterCard branded credit, debit and prepaid cards issued by Mutual Trust Bank to perform payments by scanning a QR code. The code will be generated by the bank's mobile banking application.
Primarily, MasterCard holders of Mutual Trust Bank will be able to pay for OBHAI ride-hailing services. OBHAI will display BanglaQR on all of its vehicles under ride-sharing.
Gradually, other banks and payment networks will come under the MasterCard's interoperable integrated payment system. This service will be available at more merchants, even at nearby grocery shops, organisers said.
Syed Mohammad Kamal, country manager of MasterCard Bangladesh, said this fast, secure and convenient method of payment will be the first-of-its-kind in Bangladesh, marking an important milestone in the country's adoption of contactless payments.
"BanglaQR will make every day spending simple and convenient. It will be implanted at micro, small and medium enterprise segments where, currently, there is no acceptance for digital payments," he added.
The central bank's Deputy Governor Ahmed Jamal said BanglaQR will certainly turn the country's informal sector into a formal one. "Because, if any grocery shop wants to receive digital payments, it will need a bank account. When it will observe QR payment is hassle-free, it will be interested further to enter the formal sector by opening bank accounts."
Meanwhile, Syed Mahbubur Rahman, managing director and chief executive officer of Mutual Trust Bank, requested the central bank to ease the procedure of opening bank accounts for merchants.
He said the issuance of credit cards has declined after the Bangladesh Bank made submission of Tax Identification Number by clients compulsory.
Md Mezbaul Haque, general manager of Payment Systems Department of Bangladesh Bank, Quazi Omar Ferdous, chief executive officer of OBHAI, and Syed Rafiqul Haq, deputy managing director of Mutual Trust Bank, also spoke on the occasion.