Mobile banking registered negative growth in terms of transactions in June, with a significant number of people losing their incomes as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
Many people have gone back to their villages after losing jobs during the last two to three months. They thus lost the ability and need for using mobile financial services.
According to central bank data, in June, person-to-person transactions made through mobile phones decreased by 11.4 percent compared to those in May. The number of transactions dropped by 9.1 percent and the total amount of transactions fell by 5.8 percent in the month.
Shamsuddin Haider Dalim, head of Corporate Communications and Public Relations at bKash Limited, a subsidiary of Brac Bank, told The Business Standard, "In May, Eid-ul-Fitr was one of the reasons for an increase in transactions. In June, mobile banking activities, especially person-to-person money transfers, slowed down a bit due to many people's income losses at this time of the pandemic."
Average daily transactions made through mobile phones came down to Tk1,494 crore in June from Tk1,535 crore a month earlier, according to the latest data from Bangladesh Bank.
However, in June the number of active users of mobile financial services increased by 8.8 percent to around 3.86 crore. Dalim expressed his satisfaction over the opening of fresh accounts and use of active accounts.
He hoped that transactions would increase ahead of Eid-ul-Adha.
Sector insiders said the country's mobile banking service providers had come by a fresh 62.21 lakh registered clients due to transfer of wages of export-oriented factories under the stimulus package of Tk5,000 crore – which later increased to Tk7,500 crore – in the last three months (April to June).
Although there was a countrywide shutdown from March 26 to May 31, the number of fresh registered clients reached 69.40 lakh, a tremendous growth in account opening, during the period.
In June, salary disbursement through mobile banking increased by 7.2 percent, payments of utility bills by 66 percent and merchant payment by 73 percent, according to the central bank data.