Karimuddin, a young businessman in Moheshkhali area in Cox's Bazar, was frustrated and upset about the future of his existing business that he was running in local Time Bazar, a very famous wholesale market of betel leaf, raw salt and dry fish of the Bay of Bengal.
Money transaction was a huge problem for him, as well as many others across the country, and his business was not gaining momentum for that reason. He has a large family containing 10 members and all his dreams started fading because of the frustrations.
Suddenly he learned about Nagad, a digital financial service arm of the Bangladesh Post Office that set a target to ensure digital life for its users. After learning about Nagad, which started using the state of the art technology, Karimuddin became an entrepreneur of the digital money transaction service. It gave Karimuddin and numerous others like him countless hopes while they were almost sinking in the frustration.
"Less than two years have passed, and now I am confident enough with my own business, thanks to the Nagad as they have shown me the way of finding a new route of doing business," said Karimuddin, who also help the local farmers to access the digital payment facilities.
There are thousands of farmers who produce 100-1,000 tons of betel leaf, raw salt and dry fish every month, but transaction is a huge challenge for them round the years. There were banks and other transaction facilities but those are very costly and time consuming, so farmers can hardly get comfortable using them.
Karimuddin took the privilege to mitigate the challenges and by doing that he is also earning a handsome amount. Currently he is transacting about Tk40 lakh a month on an average through Nagad for the farmers as the cost of transaction and cashing out charge are minimum compared with the existing mobile financial services (MFS) or carriers.
Helping the local people to migrate to digital transaction, Karimuddin has now become the flag bearer of digital payment in this area and also earned respect of the islanders. At the same time, he also bought land to produce salt and betel leaf with the earnings of his own shop.
Karimuddin is not alone as there are many others like him who were empowered and changed their lives by using the Nagad payment facilities in last two years after the Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina launched it on 26 March, 2019.
Purnima Mandal, once a stay-at-home mother of a young kid, also became a change maker soon after she became the entrepreneur of Nagad and started promoting the second largest MFS of the country. She has a shop adjacent to the under construction coal-fired power station at Rampal Upazila of Bagerhat district.
Soon after Nagad introduced the easy account opening process by dialling *167# from any mobile phone, increasing financial inclusion became the easiest task which also helps Bangladesh to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals set by the United Nations General Assembly and intended to be achieved by 2030.
With the supports of MFS like Nagad, the percentage of adults with financial accounts rose to 50%, which was about 22% only with the banking channel.
For both Karimuddin and Purnima it was easy to bring on board other youths who were not financially included because of using basic phones. Nagad has established partnerships with all the mobile network operators of the country and with their support introduced the state of the art technology which also empowered them to eradicate the chance of digital dividend and establish a platform of freedom of payment and transaction.
Nagad, the fastest growing digital financial service provider of the country, has also introduced the digital KYC (know your customer) first in the country and a system to send money to any phone, even to those that do not have a Nagad account. These also attract the youths a lot.
Nagad become the first choice of the youths as it was the first to use a financial account opening procedure which did not use any kind of paper-based document and did not require filling up multi-page forms. From the regulation side this move also helped to authenticate every single customer using the technology.
So the government kept confidence on Nagad and allowed them to distribute the biggest chunk of stipend to the primary level school goers, the youngsters who will lead the country from the front in the coming days.
Nagad has also digitised the social safety net disbursement procedure of the government that also helps the government to ensure the transparency and efficiency of the support, which will also give a huge boost to the youths to dream about the country.
The state owned financial carrier also stands beside disruptive ideas – like digital commerce and digital businesses – developed by the youths and it is patronising the digital services.
"And with this process we are becoming a carrier on which the youths can rely to develop the country in the coming days," said Tanvir A Mishuk, managing director of Nagad.
After introducing extensive level of technology-based services, Nagad has acquired more than 3 crore happy customers in less than two years. It is currently transacting about Tk3 billion a day, said Mishuk.