The number of active customers of the mobile financial services started to increase in March as more people started using the services ahead of Ramadan in April and Eid-ul-Fitr in May.
The number of active subscribers increased by 4.1 lakh in March compared to February and exceeded 3.46 crore, shows an analysis of the updated statistics on mobile banking released by the central bank on Thursday.
Asked about the growth in active customers, Shamsuddin Haider Dalim, head of corporate communications at bKash, told The Business Standard that inactive accounts are usually activated ahead of any festival.
He said, "Ramadan began in April and then Eid was celebrated. There has been an increase in active accounts during this time as the need and demand for transactions increased. In addition, many new customers have been added since the lockdown started in March."
In March this year, around 4.27 lakh new subscribers of mobile financial services were added and the number of registered subscribers exceeded 10.27 crore. However, the number of active subscribers is still about one third of the number of registered subscribers.
Meanwhile, the total number of transactions through mobile financial services increased in March along with the increase in customers. However, the average daily transaction amount has decreased.
The total transactions through mobile financial services during February was Tk55,059 crore, and in March it was Tk59,642 crore.
Although the total transaction increased in March as compared to February, the daily average transaction decreased by more than 2%. In February, the average daily turnover was Tk1,966 crore, while in March it was around Tk1,924 crore.
Shamsuddin Haider Dalim said the average transaction may have been a little less as March is three days longer than February. In addition, many businesses have been closed since the lockdown began in March. It may also have an effect on reducing the average daily turnover.
The amount of remittances coming through mobile financial services has continued to increase. In March, the total remittances coming through mobile banking increased by 3% compared to February and reached Tk184.73 crore. At the same time, the amount of cash in and cash out has increased by 14% and 10%, respectively.
As the volume of person-to-person transactions increased, so did the amount of salaries and allowances paid to business employees using the mobile banking services in March.
The amount of utility bills paid through mobile financial services has increased the most. In March, utility bill payments through mobile banking increased by about 23% to Tk1,956 crore compared to February.